Friends, family and colleagues have mentioned my lack of posts recently - which also indicates a lack of attention to baking and cooking in general on my part - so here is what I made at the weekend [all gone now] - coffee and walnut cake from the Peyton and Byrne cookbook.
for the cake
200g walnut halves 200g unsalted butter 200g caster sugar 200g self raising flour 3 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of hot water 4 eggs
for the topping
300g cream cheese 50g light brown sugar
Heat the oven to 170C/gas 3 and butter a springform or loose bottom tin and line with greaseproof paper Spread the walnuts on a tray, toast in the oven for about 7 minutes [my fan oven only took 5 minutes so keep an eye out for them] Allow the walnuts to cool then put half aside for your topping and crush/chop the other half for the cake mix
Cream together the butter and sugar
Then add the eggs one by one, mixing really well between each one
Beat in the coffee and then fold in the flour and the crushed walnuts
Pour the mixture into the baking tin and pop in the oven for 45-55 minutes Remove the cake from oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes [the book says 10 but I find this too long and the greaseproof paper sticks]
Run a knife around the inside edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack The cake needs to completely cool before you add the topping - this can take around two hours - so factor it in if you are making it for an afternoon tea For the topping, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a bowl until fully mixed and creamy - spread it over the cake, cover with the whole walnuts and dust with icing sugar
I was a bit suspicous of the topping - sugar and cream cheese and no coffee? - but it worked really well and stopped the cake being too overloaded with the flavour of coffee. And just to be contrary I had my coffee cake with a big pot of tea.