coffee and walnut cake

Coffee & Walnut Cake

Yes. Yes we are hurtling back to the 1970’s once more courtesy of Delia Smith.

My Da helped me cater the desserts for a party himself and Ma were hosting. Given a sniff of autonomy in the kitchen Da will put either glacé cherries or nuts in his baking. But this time he got carried away. He’s a fan of a good cake too. To cut a long and rambling story short he decided to make a coffee and walnut cake. Actually. Do you know what? I reckon this squarely deserves to be called a gateaux.

Now it is most definitely not my cup of tea but the recipe itself (once adapted) is wonderfully straightforward albeit scabby like. It all got a bit chaotic when we made it going by the original recipe. It said it was enough for two 7inch (yes inch) sandwich pans. It wasn’t. So just before we went to pour the batter into the pans we decided to do half as much again. Went to pour it in again. Still felt a little stingy so we rushed another half quantity. All told we doubled the recipe and it wasn’t massive by any standards. Things were different in the 70’s I guess.

We went the whole hog though and made the coffee mousseline. Not sure I’d go to the bother again. It was very nice but a bit fiddly and you’d really be wanting a stand mixer to make it. May I suggest making the buttercream from my birthday cake and adding a tablespoon of instant coffee powder to the pan of milk. Alternatively you could try the filling from her website that I’m only after seeing, this one, I was working from the good, old-fashioned (pre-internet) three book cookery course.

So this week I’ll just tell you how to whip up the sponge itself.

(two days till we get the keys to our house by the way)

Oven temperature 180 Celsius

Self raising flour                            230g

Baking powder                               2 teaspoons

Caster sugar                                    230g

Instant coffee powder                  I tablespoon

Butter                                                230g

Eggs                                                    4

Walnuts (broken into pieces)     100g

Preheat the oven and line the base of two 23cm sandwich pans with baking parchment and grease the sides with butter.

Put everything, except the nuts, into a large bowl and beat well to combine.

Stir in the nuts and then scoop the batter evenly between the two pans.

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 – 25mins till springy to the touch in the middle.

coffee and walnut cake

Remove them from the oven and leave to cool in their tins.

Once cooled sandwich the sponges together with whatever filling you fancy and I cannot stress how essential it is that you garnish this beauty with walnut halves. Preferably in a symmetrical pattern around the circumference, that’s where I left myself down.

coffee and walnut cake

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