The King of Cakes

This is not just any Coffee & Walnut Cake... (you see where I'm going with this?) This is the DADDY of Coffee & Walnut Cakes and how appropriate because I've made it for my Daddy's Birthday. The fact that it was Father's day yesterday just adds to the 'big daddy' factor of this post...

I love baking but I'm one of those slapdash bakers who vaguely follows recipes and if I don't have exactly the right ingredients... meh!? Just make it up and hope for the best. I have a 'meh' moment right in the middle of this post as you will find out...

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For the Cake you will need...

50 g Chopped Walnuts

125 g Caster Sugar

100 g Soft Brown/Muscavado Sugar

225 g Butter (at room temperature)

4 teaspoons Espresso Powder

2.5 teaspoons Baking Powder

0.5 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

4 Large Eggs

2 tablespoons Milk

For the Icing you will need...

350 g Icing Sugar

175 g  Butter (at room temperature)

2.5 teaspoons Espresso Powder in 1 teaspoon of Boiling Water

For the Nut Brittle you will need...

175 g Caster Sugar

100 g Butter

75 ml Water

1 heaped tablespoon Golden Syrup

250 g Mixed Nuts (I used Pecans, Walnuts and Peanuts)

Pinch Sea Salt

Preheat the Oven to 180 degrees. Grease two 8 inch Cake tins and line with baking paper. Lay a separate sheet of baking paper on a tray for the brittle.

For the cake -

Bash the walnuts into little chunks and blend with the sugar and butter

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Then add all of the rest of the cake ingredients and mix in a big mixer. Add the eggs and flour in turns to keep the mixture smooth

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The mixture should be thick but gloopy enough to run off the spatula

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Then spoon the mixture into your two cake tins and whack them in the oven for 25 - 30 mins. Insert a knife to check the centre. If any mixture sticks to the knife, give it another 5 mins.

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Whilst these are in the oven, get started on the icing and the brittle.

Put the Espresso mixture, icing sugar and butter in a bowl and cream together until smooth. Here's where I made a bit of a mistake... I used ground Espresso instead of Espresso Powder in the cake mixture and even put a little bit in the icing mixture before I realised my error... But look at how similar the tins are! Easily done...

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Oops... Make sure to use the one on the left! It won't affect the flavour, it just means that you can see the little coffee grains in the icing as opposed to having a smooth brown icing... Ah well, life goes on...

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Now time for the brittle... Crush the nuts in a big bowl, or put half into a blender to make things easier. Make sure to leave some chunky bits as these give it crunch and texture.

Then place the sugar, syrup, butter and water into a pan and heat until it bubbles golden brown. Don't stir it - it's very tempting but resist the urge as this will keep the sugar from going lumpy. Let it bubble for 5 mins and then remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Now is the time to go stir crazy (lol...pun) as the caramel will start too cool and harden very quickly!

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Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment and smooth out until its about 1cm thick. Then sprinkle with sea salt.

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Your cake timer will probably have pinged by now so take everything out into the garden to cool (or just leave it in the kitchen like a normal person)

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Once the brittle has cooled you can go all 'Great British Bake Off' and cut it into geometric shapes using a ruler... or you can just bash it with a rolling pin. Uncharacteristically for me I chose geometric shapes and cut it into nice diamond thingy's...

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Then ice and decorate! I stuck my spiky diamonds all over the top to make it look a bit like a crown... after all it is the King of Cakes.

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And here's the man himself on his special day looking rather pleased with my Coffee & Walnut creation. Happy Birthday Daddy! xxx

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2013-06-17 20.38.48
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