Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coffee, Walnut and Raisin Cake - Recipe

I've always enjoyed coffee and walnut cake, and this recipe by Tana Ramsay from her book I Love to Bake! is perfect.  I particularly liked the addition of raisins and used huge plump raisins. It's best to dust the raisins with flour before stirring into the cake otherwise they may well sink to the bottom, which is exactly what happened to me.  I turned my cake over, and now the raisins are at the top of the cake, and I then happily slathered over the buttercream and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. I wasn't too sure about the coffee, walnut, raisin combo before I made the cake, but it works beautifully.

The cake doesn't need dressing up with a circle of neatly placed walnut halves, a scattering of walnut pieces is the way to go.  After all, the best dressed cake doesn't necessarily mean the cake is a winner.

Fortunately, not an overly sweet cake because the coffee butter cream is only on top, it is best not to be  tempted to cut it in half.  I used half the amount of butter cream suggested in the original recipe and found it was ample, and light brown sugar instead of caster sugar in the recipe, to give the cake more depth of flavour.

I've eaten the good, the bad and the disappointing coffee and walnut cake in coffee shops - this is the perfect coffee shop cake, it is moist, has a tender crumb, not too much topping and keeps well too. I cut mine into slices and popped it into the freezer and then kept going back to the freezer and taking out another slice, it is that good!  Hubby thought this was a great cake too, he isn't very keen on cakes buried beneath a mound of sweet buttercream, and he said the cake/buttercream ratio I used was perfect for him. Phew!

Many of the bakes in I Love to Bake! are cooked at 200ºC or 220ºC which is something to be aware of - the suggested temperature for this cake is 200ºC and the timing is 35 minutes - if I cooked a deep cake at this temperature my cake would burn, peak and the batter would be a horrible volcanic mass.  A few years ago I went on a Patisserie Course at the local college and they cooked everything, including cakes, at almost maximum temperatures. A Victoria Sandwich at college in commercial grade ovens cooked in 10 minutes!

Adapted recipe.

You will need:  a 20cm round cake tin 5cm deep (I used a springform tin), greased , floured and base lined with parchment paper.

For the sponge:

175g softened butter, 175g light brown sugar, 3 large eggs beaten, 3 tbsp room temperature milk, 175g sifted self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water, 80g walnut pieces chopped, 60g plump raisins dusted in flour.

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and milk gradually whilst continuing to beat. Sift the flour and baking powder over and fold into the mixture. Stir in the dissolved coffee granules.
3. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. If it isn't cooked through cover with foil and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes or until cooked. Cool the baked cake for 5 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the topping you will need:

125g softened unsalted butter, 150g sifted icing sugar, 4 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water(cooled a little), 30g chopped walnuts.

1. Place the butter into a bowl and beat until soft, add the sifted icing sugar and the dissolved coffee granules. Beat with a mixer for 5/10 minutes until light and fluffy.
2. Spread the butter cream over the top of the cake and decorate with the chopped walnut pieces.


Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

Oh yum, looks amazing Maggie. Save a slice for me please?

Happy Cook / Finla said...

I love cakes like this and this looks so good.

Kath said...

It looks delicious and I was interested to hear about the oven temperatures. I might try a sponge at that temperature. Freezing too - why have I never thought of that? Do you just leave the slice to defrost at room temperature? How long does it take? A genius idea.

Kath said...

PS I love the new header!

Maggie said...

Debs - I wish you could have a slice:)
Happy Cook - thank you.
Kath - glad you like the new header.

Maggie said...

Hi Kath - The majority of bakes on my blog make the freezer because we can't sensibly plough our way through them. I slice the cake/bake - line a baking tray with cling wrap - open freeze - and then put in a zip lock bag. To defrost anything with buttercream it is best to defrost at room temperature. Can't give times though but once thawed you can always pop in a container until needed. Other bakes I thaw on low in the microwave and then at room temperature to finish off.

Kath said...

Brilliant, thanks Maggie. You know what this means though - the chickens will miss out on those last slices I didn't manage to cram in.

Paula said...

I'll definitely try this recipe soon, it sounds delicious and just the type of cake I like.

Laura loves cakes said...

Coffee and Walnut cake is one of the best and it sounds like the raisins do add a little something extra...I've never seen them added before but maybe I'll try it next time I make a Coffee and Walnut cake! Yours looks fab :-)

The Caked Crusader said...

I'm always happy to add raisins!
Like your new header and colour scheme