This is the cake Mr JibberJabber has been waiting 17 years for me to make for him. The simple reason I have never baked this classic cake before is simply because I hate coffee – the taste, the smell, everything. Of course the reason I finally crumbled was it the first technical challenge in this series of Great British Bake Off. I didn't need to worry if all of this cake was going to be consumed because it was taken off to Mr JibberJabber's running group and as everybody knows the favourite fuel of runners and cyclists is cake.
Unlike Mary Berry's version this one doesn't have an all-over frosting. I've used a coffee buttercream to fill and top the cake. If you want to cover it all then double the recipe. I used golden icing sugar as it has a naturally off-white colour but standard white icing sugar would be fine. Like Paul Hollywood's instructions make sure you chop the walnuts up quite small. Although I didn't try any of this cake I could see walnuts at the top of the cake so I know they didn't all sink to the bottom! As they say the proof is in the eating and Mr JibberJabber scoffed down three slices of this cake and he isn't a big cake eater. I have been left with just crumbs and instructions to make it again soon!
Equipment: 1 large bowl, electric whisk/beaters, 2 x 8in (20cm) sandwich tins greased and lined
4 Large eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp (15ml)Instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp (15ml) boiling water
8oz (225g) Self raising flour
2 tsp (10ml) Baking powder
8oz (225g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
8oz (225g) Soft light brown or light muscovado sugar
3½ oz (100g) Walnuts, chopped finely
2 tbsp (30ml) Maple syrup
Buttercream filling and topping
4oz (115g) Unsalted butter, softened
9oz (250g) Icing sugar
2 tbsp (30ml) Instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp (30ml) boiling water
9 Walnut halves
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
2. In a large bowl beat the eggs lightly and then pour in the coffee and stir well.
3. Add all the other ingredients and beat well until the mixture has all been combined.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch.
5. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out and leaving to cool on wire racks.
6. Once the cakes have completely cooled make the buttercream.
7. In a large bowl beat the butter well and then add the icing sugar and coffee. Continue to beat well until light and creamy.
8. Assemble the cakes by spreading half of the buttercream on top of one of the layers.
9. Place the second layer on top ensuring the flat side is showing on top.
10. Spread the rest of the buttercream over the top and place the walnuts around the edge and in the middle.
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