Just call me Ms Berry - Coffee and Walnut Cake

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Welcome to my first Recipe post.  Seeing as it's numero uno, I decided to lead with a cake recipe, as everyone loves cake right? Now, let it be known that I am no baker, I can cook meals, i'll admit that i'm a bit slap dash, but 9/10 I can produce something edible.  Cake, baking and sweet stuff on the other hand, I find difficult. I'm not good with precise measurements, i don't like following strict recipes and as it has become apparent, I don't like waiting (that's nothing new).  I just don't have the patience it takes to wait till the flippin' thing is done before opening the oven to take a peek!
 With all that being said, I somehow managed to produce this cake, for my Brother on his 22nd Birthday last weekend,  It's a Coffee and Walnut cake from a recipe I found on Pinterest by the forever sexy Nigella!

Now I know I've cheated slightly, and I've not documented the mayhem of producing the cake, but who wants to see a messy kitchen anyway?  You also can't tell here, but these sponges actually sunk in the middle, classic case of Sarah's lack of patience.  I opened the oven too early and they deflated like inflatable pillows harbouring too much weight.  I managed to salvage them buy spreading more than adequate amounts of butter cream in the middle, but my lovely husband has made sure to snap the deflated sponges as a sweet reminder of my lack of patience. He's so lovely ;) 


So with all that in mind, i think, for my first try, this isn't half bad.  It was eaten, and it got some lovely comments, albeit that the cake itself was a bit sickly, but eat that amount of butter cream and silky probably isn't the only think you'll be feeling.  I've written the recipe below for anyone wanting to try it, and next time I post a recipe it'll be a 'come as you are' wham-bam-thank-ya-Ma'am kinda savoury dish i'm comfortable with! So I hope to see you there.
Nigella's Coffee and Walnut Cake
Makes 1x 8" cake
  • 50g walnut pieces
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 large free range organic eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp whole milk
Icing
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp espresso powder dissolved in 4 tbsp boiling water, cooled
  • 2 tsp coffee extract (optional)
Walnut Praline
  • 75g walnut pieces, toasted
  • 100g caster sugar
Heat your oven to 180ºC. Grease the bottoms of two 8" cake tins. I used Butter but no paper.
Sponges
Blitz the walnuts and sugar in a food processor (didn't have one so used my nutri bullet) Add the rest of the ingredients into a bowl along with the blitzed walnuts and sugar and blend just until smooth.
 Add enough milk to make dropping consistency. Divide between the two tins making a slight dip in the middles and bake for about 25 minutes or until the middle springs back when (lightly!) touched.
DO NOT OPEN OVEN EARLY TO SNEAK A PEEK AT CAKES... THEY WILL DEFLATE!
Leave to cool in tins for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Butter Cream Icing
Blitz the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar in a food processor just until smooth and blended. Add the coffee gradually. Adding more to taste. And if that's not strong enough for you then add 2 tsp coffee extract!
Trim the tops off the cakes. Place one on your serving dish. Spread some icing over it, careful not to get too close to the edges. Repeat with the second layer.
Praline Topping
Place the toasted walnuts on a sheet of grease proof paper or a silicone mat, (I actually toasted mine in a frying pan, then just poured the sugar over that.  It's non stick so came right off when ready!) Heat the sugar in a pan until completely melted and a deep caramel colour. Pour over the walnuts. Leave to cool completely before placing in a food processor and pulsing. Don't over blend or you'll just be left with dust! It's nice to have some chunks in there too! Spoon the praline on to the edges of the cake. ( And I would say, do this right before serving, or the praline will go soft and chewy and wont stay nice and crunchy!! 




Sarah x 
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