Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coffee and Walnut Cake

I was invited to a dinner party last weekend and instead of a usual bottle of wine I decided to bake this age-old classic as a gift. I used a recipe from Brendan Lynch's website but instead of a coffee cream cheese frosting I opted for a swiss meringue coffee and cinnamon buttercream.

The cake had a nice flavour to it but can probably do with a touch more coffee and cinnamon. Unfortunately the sponge was a little on the hard side and I think it could be due to the fact that I didn't have the patience to bring butter to room temperature prior to creaming it with the sugar. I enjoyed eating it nevertheless and I'd like to think my friends did too.

I was so pleased with myself for keeping the leftover chocolate squares that I made a while ago for my chocolate entremet because I think it makes a nice centre piece on this cake. Best of all I didn't have to go through the whole chocolate tempering process again just to make that once piece of decoration.

Also, as you can see I have sort of succumbed to the use of instagram and there's no shame in admitting to that. 

Learning Points:

1. Leave plenty of time to allow the butter to come to temperature (in the realm of 2 hours)

I will be baking a salted caramel velvet cake this coming Friday for a friend's valentine celebration (how sad I know, I wish I could be baking for my own valentine instead!!) It is a new recipe of my own and I have been dying to try the improved version. I loved the flavour last time but the sponge was a little on the dense side so this time I will be incorporating some meringue to lighten the whole thing.

Watch this space.



  1. Hi Kong,
    How are you? It's Eve here. The lady with the pink frilly cake :)
    LOoove your blog. You do some very smart fancy baking and you clearly love it. I'll have to follow your blog for tips and advice :)
    Like the coffe and Walnut option x

    1. HELLO Eve the lady with pink frilly cake and the uber professional square tart! :) I don't think I'm good enough to be dishing out tips and advices at this stage but we can always learn from each other. I am, to some degree obssessed with food presentation, and I have a feeling you're that kind of person too. :D

      When are you ever going to start your own blog. I can't wait to see it!

  2. Yes, I'm a bit like that too but you are def more procise and careful than I am. I can just get a bit hap hazard and I dont make the notes like you do. I suppose mine is a creative thing..?
    I love reading your posts. I like that you've taken the time to write down your journey. I feel for you with some of the things that you have learnt, I know how that feels. It's all very readable :)
    I like your to bake list too.. I need one of those. You do so brilliantly in a little kitchen. I have had a freestanding mixer for about 6 months now and I don't know how I ever managed before it!
    Blog... No idea how to start off a blog? But they seem to be the in thing. Trying to keep the facebook page updated though :)

    1. Thank you for the very kind words Eve! I was never good at writing essays in school and don't think my writing skill has improved much since then. To be honest having baked in my little kitchen for so long I've grown to like it. In fact I'd probably feel a little alien if you put me in a spacious kitchen now. (though I'm sure I'd happily adapt to it in no time :D)

      There are many blogging servers that you choose from. I'm obviously using but there is wordpress too. Personally I'm more comfortable with blogger because that's the first one I've come across but feel free to visit both webpages and see which one takes your fancy. My blog is fairly primitive in design but I think it serves its purpose. It does take a while to get head around blogging but once you know the basics of posting an entry you'd be good to go!

      Let me know how you get on!

  3. I'm reading your blog back to front, so now I know the flavour of the Valentine Cake....If you add a little warm water or milk, to loosen the batter right at the end of mixing, you will get a more moist sponge, about 1 tbsp for every 100g flour. When you have weighed your sugar and butter into your mixing bowl, put the whole lot into your washing up bowl with warm to hot water for a few minutes, no water wasted, it is ready for your washing up! Put your whists too into the water to warm, then dry before using of course.

    1. Thanks Noelle! You're like my personal encyclopedia of baking top tips now. Just one question: Would the warming up method using hot water bath etc melt the butter at all? Also does it matter if it melts (maybe ever so slightly)?

  4. You probably have as many tips to pass on for the cakes and bakes you have made...I'd love to watch you work with chocolate.

    No the water should be warm, enough to soften the butter, and keep poking the butter till it is soft enough, not oily at all. If it melts you won't get the right consistency, with a lot less air into the mixture.


Comments and feedback are what keep me going! I'd always be happy to help you with questions you have regarding the recipes in my entries.