This recipe from the Primrose Bakery, London is a coffee-cake connoisseur’s delight.
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
175g self raising flour, sifted
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
11/2 tablespoons instant coffee mixed with 2 tablespoons of boiling water
I tablespoon of instant coffee
50g Demerara sugar
55ml boiling water
150g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon semi skimmed milk at room temperature
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in a small amount of water
350g icing sugar sifted
10-12 walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 170C/375F/gas mark 5. Grease and baseline two 20cm cake tins.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is smooth and pale which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. Add the flour and baking powder and beat well.
Grind the walnuts in a food processor for about 30 seconds or so. Add the coffee and ground walnuts to the batter and mix again, but for no more than 3-4 seconds. The mixture should have a marbled effect and it is very important not to over mix or you will take all the air out.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown. Insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes- it should come out clean if it is cooked.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in their tins. Make up the syrup by combining the ingredients in a jug and stirring well to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. After 10-15 minutes, prick the sponges with a fork, brush on the syrup and leave to soak in.
To make the buttercream, in a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, espresso mixture and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar to produce a buttercream of a creamy and smooth consistency.
When you are ready to ice the cakes, carefully turn them out of their tins and peel the greaseproof paper from the bases. Place one cake on a plate and
spread a thin layer of coffee buttercream over it. Place the second cake on top and use the rest of the butter cream to cover the upper surface. Decorate with the walnut halves.