Coffee, Maple and Walnut Cake

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It was my Dad’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and so – of course – I baked him a cake.  He’s a big fan of coffee and walnut cake, and so I decided to bake him one of those – but fancied levelling up the flavours a little.  I have a candle in my kitchen called “Coffee Break” (a TK Maxx bargain!) that I like to burn in the morning while I’m making breakfast or cleaning; I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t drink coffee but absolutely LOVES the smell of it.  Anyway, this candle smells like an American Coffee Shop in the best kind of way; it gives off a kind of nutty, syrupy, dark roast smell and I love it!  I kind of gave myself the challenge of making the cake taste like that candle smells – which is a very weird thing to do, I know – but I think I kind of pulled it off!  I added in a good glug of maple syrup and some brown sugar and that seemed to do the trick! Nutty, syrupy, coffee(-y) – it’s the perfect bake for Father’s Day! 🙂

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Coffee, Maple and Walnut Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 egg whites
  • 150g butter
  • 150g ground walnuts (just blitz them in a blender until they look like wet sand)
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 75ml milk
  • 2 tbsp coffee granules

To decorate:

  • 50g ground walnuts
  • 200g salted butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  1. Set your oven to 170°C and grease and line a small, round, spring-form cake tin (less than 20cm).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, then pour in the eggs and egg whites.  Mix until well-combined and fluffy.
  3. Next, warm the milk in the microwave and mix in the coffee granules.  Leave the coffee mixture to cool before stirring it into the batter (you don’t want to scramble the eggs!).  Stir in the maple syrup.
  4. Next, sift all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (that’s the flour, salt, baking powder and ground walnuts), then gradually add the mixture to the batter – stirring until well-combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes – or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool.
  6. Once the cake has cooled, carefully slice into two or three layers (depending on how dab-handed with a knife you are!).  Sandwich the layers together with buttercream, then ice the cake with whatever you’ve got left.  Sprinkle with ground walnuts and decorate with whole nuts and fresh flowers. 🙂

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, but mostly to my awesome Dad.

Lemon and Rose Drizzle Cake

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I’m no stranger to a good old Lemon Drizzle Cake – it’s easy to bake and perfect just the way it is – nice and gooey and warm on the plate (especially after getting stuck out in a less pleasant kind of drizzle, eh?).  But it’s always nice to try a fresh twist on an old favourite.  Last time I tried pistachio, and this time I’ve gone for rose – which sweetens the lemon a little and takes out it’s sour edge.  So if you like your drizzle cake a little sweeter, then this one’s for you. 🙂

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Lemon and Rose Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Butter
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 200g Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tsp of Rosewater
  • Handful of dried, edible rose petals
  1. Grease a small loaf tin and set your oven to 170°.
  2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar and then crack in the egg.  Pour in the lemon zest and rosewater, then stir in the flour.
  3. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  4. To make the drizzle, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar.  While the loaf is still nice and warm (and still in its tin!), create some holes in it with a cocktail stick or a knife (make sure you only insert them half way or you’ll get a soggy bottom!), then pour the drizzle over the top.
  5. Once the loaf has cooled, remove it from the tin and then decorate it with the dried rose petals.

Happy Friday everyone! 

Apple Pie Cake

It’s right about this time of year that my blood starts turning to into custard because – oh yeah – it’s finally getting cold enough to scoff puddings and pies again!  I love pies, but when it comes to custard?  Meh, I’m more of a hot, strawberry blancmange kinda girl  if I’m being totally honest (I’m an 80s kid through and through, okay?).  Sunny, on the other hand, is an absolute super fan who likes to drown his desserts in the stuff and would happily drink it on its own if I let him 😉  When it comes to the dessert itself, he does love a good old apple pie or crumble but would probably admit that at the end of the day they’re just a vehicle for the custard, and as for me I get a bit bored baking the same old apple dishes every year.  So, I’ve been on a mission to come up with an apple pie that’s so damn good it upstages the custard.

Enter the apple pie cake.  There’s no crust, just a fluffy, moist sponge, with juicy, cinnamon-spiced apples and it be eaten either hot or cold – unlike old humble apple pie.  I adapted the recipe from the fantastic buttermilk plum cake I baked over the summer and came up with a keeper.  🙂

Apple Pie Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 Apples of any variety (I used Pink Lady), peeled, cored and thinly sliced into segments.
  • Juice of Half a Lemon
  • 125g Butter
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 100ml Buttermilk
  1. Boil your apple segments in lemon juice and water until they’re just soft enough for a knife to pierce them, then leave to cool.
  2. Set your oven to 170° and grease a 20cm open bottom cake tin.  Sprinkle with a little flour and then set aside.
  3. In your mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 125g of the sugar.  Stir in the egg.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together most of the dry ingredients; that’s the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Combine with the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk to make a light batter.
  6. Pour the batter into your cake tin and smooth over the surface.  Arrange the apples on top in a spiral starting about a centimeter away from the edge of the tin.  Make sure you overlap them so that when the cake rises in the oven you’re not left with any gaps.
  7. Before you pop the cake in the oven sprinkle over the remaining sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon.  Bake for 50 minutes and then serve up warm with custard or ice cream.  Add some toffee sauce to turn it into a toffee apple cake!

I honestly don’t think I’ll be baking any apple pies this year, it’ll just be this cake over and over and over again.  If you want to see me making it, check out my IGTV for the recipe in video form.  

Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes

Happy Friday!  How was your Easter weekend?  Did you get your fill of chocolate, or – like me – were you raiding the supermarket on Tuesday morning for half-price Easter eggs?  I found bags of Galaxy Caramel Eggs for 50p and used my arm to sweep the whole shelf into my basket.  No shame.

Anyway, hopefully you’re not too sick of chocolate (is that even possible?) – clearly I’m not, because yesterday I got a craving for cupcakes and decided to make these bad boys.  The American baking community call them Hi-Hats (marshmallow frosting dipped in melted chocolate), but to us Brits really they’re just cupcakes with a marshmallow tea cake (/poo emoji) perched on top.  I went one better and added a raspberry jam filling – just like real tea cakes.  I thought they were going to be a nightmare to make, but with a bit of strategic freezer-time, they were actually pretty easy 🙂

Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 175g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 120ml milk
  • Raspberry Jam
  • For the marshmallow cream topping: 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff (amazing stuff), 250g butter, 300g icing sugar
  • 250g plain chocolate
  1. Set the oven to 180. In a bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar, then stir in the egg.
  2. Stir in the flour and milk gradually, alternating between the two until you have a light and fluffy batter.
  3. Spoon into deep cupcake cases and then bake for around 20 minutes (or until an inserted skewer comes out clean).  Allow to cool.
  4. In a clean bowl, mix together the butter, icing sugar and marshmallow fluff to create a marshmallow buttercream.  Using a piping bag, pipe a ringed “fence” on the top of the cupcake, then fill the centre with jam.  Pipe around and on top of the jam to create a peak, then place the cupcakes in the freezer to ensure the topping is set and cold enough to keep its shape when you dip it in the melted chocolate.
  5. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (or on the hob, whichever way you prefer!), then carefully dip the cupcakes – topside down – into it.  Tip: It helps if you use a cup for the chocolate rather than a bowl.  Leave the cupcakes to cool in the fridge so the chocolate can set.
  6. SCOFF.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂