Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Coffee and Walnut Cake with Brandy and Walnut Cream Cake

A little bit messy but still yummy
For the last set of night shift I worked I decided to make one of the delicious sounding cakes from the latest issue of Dish magazine (Issue 37). Dish magazine is the most favourite of all the mags I subscribe to (and there are many). In it's early days I thought it was a little on the pretentious side but it quickly established itself and is now a fantastic magazine both for the readability of it and the usable, easy but not too simple recipes. Some magazines can be a little too 'family-friendly' or else overly 'wah-wah' (if you know what I mean) but Dish is one that seems to cross the divide of being both user-friendly yet inventive and fresh. It is the only mag where I will make more than one or two recipes from and every time the result is well worth it. This cake is no exception. 

I am not a fan of walnuts nor of coffee-flavoured things. But for some reason this cake just works. It has a lovely texture and flavour making it delicious and decadent yet real and inviting...if you know what I mean. Apparently it was an old family recipe and we all know that these are the ones that carry on down through the generations because they are so good. It was an easy cake to make but you do need to be sure you set some time aside to let a couple of the components cool down. It also helps to have a stand mixer too I would think...but that's probably the case for lots of things!  

Coffee and Walnut Cake with Rum (Brandy) and Walnut Cream (Dish issue 37)

75gm walnuts, toasted and ground finely
3 Tbsp instant espresso coffee
2 Tbsp boiling water
2 Tbsp dark rum (or brandy)
225g butter at room temp
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water then stir in the rum/brandy and leave to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time adding a tsp of the flour with each egg. Combine the remaining flour, baking powder and walnuts and, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold into the butter mixture. 

Divide the mixture between 2 greased and lined 23cm tins and smooth the top. Bake about 20 mins until the cake is cooked. It will spring back when you touch it gently and be pulling away from the sides. Cool for 20mins then remove from the tin onto a wire rack.

Walnut Cream
75g toasted walnuts, finely ground
1/3 c milk2 Tbsp rum/brandy
100g butter at room temp
1c icing sugar
2 egg yolks

Bring the milk and rum/brandy to the boil then stir in the walnuts and cool.

Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the egg yolks. Add teh cooled walnut mixture and beat again for 2 mins until the mixture is thick and smooth. Cover and put in the fridge until firm.

5tsp boiling water
1 Tbsp instant espresso coffee
1c icing sugar, sifted

Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water then beat in the icing sugar to make a smooth, pourable glaze (I needed a bit more water). 

To assemble
Slice each cake in half horizontally, You can brush with rum/brandy but I missed this out. Spread with a 1/3 of the walnut cream. Repeat the layers and on the final layer pour over the glaze. You can see mine was a little wonky but hey it still tasted just as good.

The girls at work really liked this. I don't think the alcohol did anything at all to the flavour of the cake but maybe if I had used dark rum it might have (I had run out). Some thought that even though they didn't normally go for walnut/coffee flavoured cakes, that this was really good. I agree!!
The not very glamorous 'serving plate'...it's my container!

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