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Homemaker and Mama to 4 beautiful children. My daily journey through life on our farm.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Cake anyone?

Today I thought id bring you a post i've been meaning to write since, well, at least November last year, and probably before that!
Its my coffee and walnut cake recipe..which i dedicate to Gem!

Firstly, in my opinion, preparation is key, get out everything you need;

For the sponge:
Camp coffee
Walnut halves(at least 150g)
Caster sugar
Self raising flour(i recommend Be-Ro if you can get it)
Baking powder
3 Medium eggs
Stork margarine

For the butter-cream:
Icing powder
250g Anchor butter
(more camp coffee)

My method is to use 3 medium eggs, although as i always use the eggs from my hens i have to say this is not an exact science as my bantam eggs are small and by other hens eggs can sometimes be HUGE, you're looking for the eggs(unbroken)to weigh 6-8 ounces in total.
I then use the method taught to me by my granny Peg, and weigh the marg, flour and sugar by whatever the eggs weighed, so if i have 8oz of eggs, i weigh out 8oz of sugar, i then add 8oz of marg on top of the sugar on the scales(so as not to get the scales greasy-another thing granny Peg taught me)
Before you continue, cut two pieces of baking parchment to fit the bottoms of two 20cm sandwich tins. Thoroughly grease the bottoms and sides of the tins, then add the parchment, then grease again with a little marg from the tub spread on with a piece of kitchen towel.

Firstly, cream your marg and sugar together until its quite pale-if it still looks as yellow as the anchor packet above, it isnt whisked enough.
I use a hand electric whisk which belonged to my mum, its all she ever used to mix cakes and its all ive ever used, but if you only have a proper super duper food whizzer then thats great too-just take it slowly!
The above photo was in november when my little 'bun' was considerably less 'cooked' than it is now!
It should look roughly this colour when its whisked enough.

Next, weigh out your flour, and add one egg to the mixture, with a 3rd of the flour, whisk a little, and repeat the process twice more. At this point i would add a teaspoon and a half of baking powder, no more though as you have a mount etna of a sponge in your oven (as ive learned to my cost!!)
Next add your camp coffee-ive done it in tablespoons for you but normally i pour it from the bottle, tasting as i go. 3-4 tablespoons is about right.
Some people use an instant coffee/boiling water mixture in their cakes, but this is a really tricky thing to do, so i would say invest in the £1.50 bottle of camp and you wont look back.
I mix the camp in with a rubber spatula, collecting any flour/butter from the sides of the bowl which hasnt yet joined the party! This was the mixture wont be 'over mixed'.
At this point you should have quite a heavy batter of a mixture which doesnt easily dollop off of the spoon.

Next, crush half of your walnuts to be added to the cake mix, not as small as breadcrumbs, you want to have a little bite in your coffee sponge...

Add your crushed walnuts to the mixture but dont mix them in too heartily, you'll overwork the gluten in the flour and your cake wont rise.

Here are my ready greased cake tins..

Dollop half of the mixture into each tin, then pop each one on the scales, just to check they're even, dont worry about spreading the mixture out, it'll do that by itself.

While the cake is cooking i get on with the butter-cream, im afraid i didn't weigh out the icing powder, its a messy enough affair as it is, so id say make sure your butter is nice and soft(but not melted) an add your icing powder to it a big shake at a time, then add a tablespoon of camp, then give it a mix...until you get the consistency you like.
Taste it, if you like more of a coffee taste, add more, i do, so id say 1-2 tbsps is a good amount.

DONT be tempted to open the oven during the first two thirds of the cooking time-which in my oven is 40-45 mins @ 180 degrees(low and slow).
I have an electric oven so im afraid i cant give you an exact time for a gas/fan oven, im sure most of you will have baked similar things in your ovens though so can guestimate it the first time!

To check your cake is cooked gently press down, and it feels like when you press the back of your hand with your finger then its done. You can test it by sticking a knife in-if it comes out clean you know its probably done, but im not a fan of this method.

I always leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 20-30 mins...then slowly run a butter knife around the inside edge of the tin, and turn the cake over, it should slip out easily and then you can peel away the baking parchment.

I then leave the upturned halves to cool-dont be tempted to add the buttercream until which time you dont feel any heat at all coming from the cake-id say 45-60 mins will do it.

Then gently spread on the butter-cream with a palette knife, i use the same amount inside as on top (but you can do a thinner layer on top but continue it round the sides of your cake if you want to).
I then add a few walnut halves to the top of the cake, i like LOTS but on this occasion i didn't have many!
Et Voila! It, should look something like this!...In our house this cake is always gone in minutes, but it will keep in a cake tin for a good 4 or 5 days for those of you who might be rationing yourselves!

Sorry for the dark photos guys-like i said, it was November!
I hope half term is being kind to you mummies, even if the weather isnt.
My girls know the method for making this cake-its so simple, even they can help me-although there is more mixture in their tummies than in the bowl by the end of it!

Id love to know how you get on trying out my recipe!

Now sit back with a cuppa and a slice of your cake-its the best, i promise!
Love Kirsty xoxo


sian said...

Great minds think alike!!!! I absolutely LOVE coffee and walnut cake, and will definitely be trying this one on the weekend! Love your blog by the way! xx

Jennifer said...

That looks delicious!

Saphy said...

yum..... will give it a go soon.

bellaboo said...

That is exactly the same recipe my Mum always used for her C and W cake! It was a family favourite.I guess yours will passed on to your little ones too! :0)

Emma said...

umm i am sat here mentally checking off the ingreadients in my cupboard but nooooo i have no camp!!! lol xxx

charl said...

i can almost smell that, it looks gorgeous..
i do love coffee and walnut cake.. i think it always looks a bit special with the walnuts on top doesnt it..
if i havnt got any camp coffee in then i use a bit of instant coffee with boiling water!!..

fembarns- mamman said...

Love your blog, just find it!
And the cake looks delicious, have to try it!

Hugs from Sweden, Emma!

♥coco rose♥ said...

Oooooh you can't beat coffee and walnut cake! I love it, although have never actually made one. I always buy them, but I think I may just have a go at making one myself with your recipe! Thank you for sharing...it looks so scrummy! x

Andi's English Attic said...

I have never, ever bought Camp Coffee, but it's on my list for this weekend's shop. I have to make this cake. Thanks for the recipe. xx

LittleGem said...

Awww Kirsty you are so lovely! A recipe post dedicated to me! Thank you! I am going to grab my recipe journal and write this is now! Photos are great too, thank you!!
Will have to bake one in honour of you now!! xxx

Alijane said...

Hi Kirsty,

I made my own coffe and walnut as per your recipe and it was good. It did sink a tiny bit in the middle but I am blaming the over on that one.

I made a heart shaped one and have added a pic to my blog if you want to have a nose.

Thanks for the recipe.