Every bite into this coffee-flavoured butter cake filled with generous amounts of chopped walnuts is addictive! This cake is sponge-soft and moist, and full of crunch!
Seriously, who doesn’t love butter cakes? For all the right (and wrong) and more often than not, less understood reasons, butter has had more than its fair share of negative publicity in our increasingly health-conscious society. Yet, can you imagine what we would be missing out on in our culinary world if we didn’t have butter (or its close cousin, margarine)?
No warm delicious scones, tea cakes or shortbread, decadent slices or rich pastries. Certainly, there wouldn’t be soft butter rolls, breads and croissants to enjoy, baked fresh out of the oven to our table. And undoubtedly, without butter, we probably would have less than savoury pastas, pies and quiches. Gosh! I couldn’t possibly imagine my life without this wonderful ingredient! That’s not to say that I don’t try to eat more on the healthier end of things, but I do occasionally (okay, I admit, very frequently!) give in to my ever present and constant sugar cravings. And on top of that very, very long list of my favourite snacks and treats are butter cakes in all their simplicity, sophistication, grandeur and variety!
So to honour good ole butter, I’m starting a series of posts on all sorts of buttery desserts, snacks and treats. To kick things off, have a look here at what I recently baked – coffee walnut cake. Now, if you’ve looked at my previous post on a walnut cake and are wondering “hmm…did she use the same recipe and just tweaked it with coffee flavours?”….oh no, that would be just too plain lazy! I’d like to think that I’m much better than that! But I’ve always made clear my limitations – I am not a recipe creator (gosh! I only wish I were that talented!), and like most recipes I post in this blog, I sourced this from one of my many favourite cookbooks. And I promise you, this one makes a really good cake!
This recipe made a pretty good number of servings, so I had a friend take more than half the cake (10 servings) for her office colleagues. Apprehensively, I asked her if she had any feedback (after specifically requesting that she not ask for it!) and by the end of the day, I was grinning from ear to ear and feeling rather pleased with myself. Everyone, she said, loved it! “So moist! So soft!” – was the final word, thumbs up! Aaah, music to my ears! Feeling ever so slightly unsure of my baking skills at times, I asked my friend if her colleagues were just being diplomatically polite, or just so darn hungry that they would chow down anything in the office that was reasonably edible, she looked at me quizzically and said in a matter-of-fact way, “Now, why would they do that? If it wasn’t nice, they would have just eaten it and said nothing!” So that was that. Anyway, I hope you’ll try it and share with me what you think! Perhaps, it could do with a generous dose of rum or brandy??
Coffee Walnut Cake
- 255 g flour
- 1 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 170 g walnuts roughly chopped
- 225 g butter softened at room temperature, cubed
- 200 g caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 - 3 tbsp instant coffee powder mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
- 3 tbsp evaporated milk mixed with 3 tbsp water
- Pre-heat oven to 165 deg C (325 deg F).
- Grease the base and sides of a 23-cm cake tin and dust lightly with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, at medium speed (between speed 3 to 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) cream butter and sugar till light and creamy. This process may take 8 to 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
- Mix (A) in a cup.
- Divide flour mixture into 3 portions and fold each portion one at a time into the creamed butter mixture. Lastly, add (A) and the vanilla essence. Fold lightly till well incorporated.
- Pour batter into cake tin and bake in slow oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is done. Leave cake in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool down completely.