An unlikely choice of cake

The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans really entices my sense of smell but unlike most people I know, I don’t drink coffee and it doesn’t make me alert; just jumpy and jittery.

It might surprise you then that I chose to make coffee and walnut cake today. Like I said, I enjoy the smell and I also like the taste of coffee. I don’t think there will be enough caffeine in a slice of the cake to put me on edge but if you see me blogging at an ungodly hour of the morning, you’ll know why. I do think the cake is all worth it though!

The recipe I followed was one by Nigella Lawson, which you can find here. She’s really grown on me since I first watched her cook on TV a few years back and if there’s one thing I’m sure of, her cakes aren’t short of butter or sugar. Knowing this, I cut down a bit of both for the cake and a lot for the icing. This ended up being (for 4 servings) –

For the cake:
100g caster sugar
100 g butter

For the icing:
50g icing sugar
75g butter

Instead of throwing everything into the processor, I put the walnuts into a clean plastic bag and crushed them using a rolling pin. Potentially good stress relief, although I did split the bag while doing this. Everything else I did as I normally would when making a cake.

I have to admit, I made some pretty rookie mistakes when making this cake. I almost used cream of tartar instead of baking soda (similar containers) and then I tried to soften butter in the microwave in a steel bowl (no explanation for this). Big, huge NO NO.

Potential disasters aside, the cake turned out moist and fluffy and the bits of walnuts were really nice for a bit of crunch. Not a fan of the buttercream icing though. I’ve never been big on buttercream icing so I don’t know why I bothered making this one. I might try an espresso or a mocha whipped cream frosting next time.

“Wow, it really does taste of coffee!”

 – My dad after trying the cake

Photo: Tao Lin

Photo: Tao Lin


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