Friday, 18 January 2013

Coffee and Walnut Loaf

This is a fantastic cake/loaf. I'd call it a cake, but it's a loaf shape and so my instinct is to call it a loaf. Call it whatever you think best - it's still the same thing.

My dad wanted something with walnuts in it for his birthday, and so I took a look through my limited number of cake recipes, mostly taken from Recipe Rifle, as always. I'd already tried the Carrot cake and while it was fantastic, it just takes too long to make. The Coffee and Walnut cake was the only thing left and it's so straightforward it should be criminal.

See Recipe Rifle for Esther Walker's version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe. This is my version below.

- 3 eggs
- self-raising flour
- butter
- caster sugar
- 0.5tsp vanilla essence
- 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp coffee granules, dissolved in 0.75 tbsp hot water

To make a 500g 7"x4" loaf:

1. Weigh your eggs and then measure out the same for the flour, butter and sugar.

2. Beat the butter until creamy

3. Beat in sugar until fluffy.

4. Beat in the eggs gradually. If it curdles, then ignore it.

5. Fold in the sieved flour gradually.

6. Add vanilla essence, coffee and walnuts.

7. Pour mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180C.

Recipe Rifle's version uses two eggs, but I just used three small ones. My tin has the strange dimensions of 8"x4"x2.5" but fitted the amount of mixture in fine. Next time, I think even three large eggs would still leave room to spare.

I think I had to bake for about 40-45 minutes until it stopped being gooey. As you can see from the picture, the top bursts open during baking and while the rest of the cake is ready (i.e. a knife comes out cleanly) the burst section stayed gooey for ages. As a result, the edges were very crispy but that's the way we like it in my house.

Esther over at Recipe Rifle uses espresso powder but we don't have any and so I just used coffee granules as a substitute. If you have espresso powder, then that will probably be better, but the coffee granules worked just fine. I think I might need 1.5tbsp next time just to give it a stronger flavour.


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