Coffee and Walnut Cake
This cake is utterly delicious, very easy to make and suits walnuts as well as pecan nuts. The light, not too sweet Swiss meringue buttercream takes this gorgeous cake to another level. I have added too my recipe for a Coffee flavoured "super smooth" buttercream - the recipe will yield sufficient for two cakes. Either make a half quantity (if you have use for half a tin of condensed milk) or freeze the excess.
You will need 2 x 6 inch sandwich pans brushed with lining paste and base lined with paper (paper lining optional)
For the cake:
Cream the margarine/butter and sugar then add the eggs plus the egg yolk one at a time mixing really well between each addition. Fold in the flour and when almost all combined add the chopped nuts, vanilla and coffee. Continue to stir slowly until everything is well combined.
Divide the mix between the two tins then bake for 18-20 minutes at 175 degrees c (fan) until well risen, lightly coloured, springy to the touch and just leaving the sides of the tin.
TIP: (If you have an old or particularly fierce oven) – For an even bake and flat top to your cake wrap a foil strip around the outside to diffuse the heat during baking.
Turn out onto cooling trays and leave until completely cold.
For the filling:
Fill a medium saucepan about one third full with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer then place a heat proof bowl over the pan and add the egg white and the sugar. Stir with a hand whisk or spatula until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels smooth when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger. Take then a hand held electric whisk and whisk together the egg white and sugar until pale, thick and doubled in size. Take off the heat and continue to whisk until the mix has cooled and feels neither hot nor cold when you pop a finger in.
In a separate bowl cream the room temperature butter with the electric whisk until thick and creamy then add the cream coloured cool meringue one large spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. When it has all been incorporated then whisk in the coffee and water mix. This super smooth absolutely delicious cream can then be used to fill the cake and there will be enough for six blobs to secure the eight walnuts or pecans on the top. I tend to put the 8 blobs on the top sponge first then use all of the remainder of the cream to sandwich the two cakes together.
For the Russian Buttercream: In a large roomy bowl cream the butter until pale and light – I do this with a hand whisk for a good five minutes. Add then 2 tbsp of condensed milk at a time and whisk well between each addition. Finally add the coffee and whisk well. Add the flavour in two parts and adjust to suit your taste.
There is sufficient buttercream to sandwich two cakes. The cream will keep in the fridge for 7 days and will freeze well.
Note : The flavour of the walnuts or pecans will be enhanced if toasted lightly in a dry frying pan. Leave to cool.
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