Yum, yummy yum, yummy yum. I love coffee, and I love cake. Making a cake like this one makes me very happy – it’s a real find-it-in-a-National-Trust-cafe / village-fete-WI-cake-stall kind of cake, the kind of cake that makes you sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and just enjoy eating a hearty slice. I highly recommend that you do just that at your earliest convenience. This cake freezes well too, just cut it into slices and wrap them up well, then lo and behold there’s cake to be had when you need it.
225g soft unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
50g walnut pieces
4 large eggs
200g plain flour
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2.5 tsp baking powder
5 tsp espresso powder
4 tbsp milk
175g soft unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
2.5 tsp espresso powder
2 tbsp milk
12 walnut halves
Method – cake
- Heat oven to 170C fan, grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
- Whizz up the walnut pieces and sugar in a processor or bash up the nuts with pestle + mortar (or put them in a bag and bash them up with a rolling pin, then mix with the sugar) until the nuts have turned to dust. Then, either:
- Add the butter, flour, eggs, espresso powder, bicarb + baking powder into the processor too and whizz the whole lot to combine, then drizzle the milk down the funnel with the processor still running to make a batter. Or:
- In a large bowl/ freestanding mixer, beat together the butter, nuts and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs one at a time with a tbsp of the measured flour each time.
- Beat in the rest of the flour and dry ingredients, then the milk to make a smooth batter. Both:
- Divide the batter equally between the two tins, level them with a spatula and bake for 22-25 minutes until they bounce back to a light touch in the centre.
- Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then remove from the tins and allow to cool fully.
Method – icing
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until really soft, then sift in the icing sugar and (reeeeeeallly slowly at first) beat the two together.
- Mix the espresso powder with a tablespoon of boiling water and beat that in too.
- If the icing feels too stiff to spread, beat in a tablespoonful of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- When the cake has completely cooled, put one sponge on your serving plate, flat side up, and spread over half of the icing.
- Place the second sponge on top, flat side down, and artfully swirl over the other half.
- Decorate with the walnut halves, and dive in!