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【食譜】咖啡核桃蛋糕 (Coffee & Walnut Cake)

2015/9/6 — 9:00

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靚女博客 Claire 今次不是教你整 cupcake ,而是一個大的咖啡核桃蛋糕。這個蛋糕不須搞什麼「花臣」,就是能在家就能製作的那種(如甘筍蛋糕、檸檬蛋糕等),但味道相當的好,令人有家的感覺。

*溫馨提示 — 食譜所標示的材料份量足夠切開八份⋯⋯又或一個好餓的人吃,讀者請按需要自行加減。

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There are two types of cakes in this world: those extravagant, rich, luscious gateaux that are probably covered with intricate and delicate royal icing shenanigans; and the homely, comforting type that is arguably better.

The latter is the sort of cake that I prefer to make – quick and easy. (Ha, I’m probably biased because I’m just not artsy enough to make a fancy-ass cake that looks like it belongs in the Great British Bake Off tent, but let’s be real: ain’t nobody got time to make some crazy showstopper like that.) Cakes like Victoria sponges, carrot cakes and a good old lemon drizzle – that’s what I’m talking about. All three of those are some of my top picks when it comes to cake, but a coffee and walnut cake has a special place in my heart.

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The classic coffee and walnut cake uses the creaming method, but I’m notoriously lazy when it comes to baking so I find the all-in-one method works just as well. This method may result in a denser cake. To prevent that, I use the balloon whisk attachment on my standing mixer to help get more air into the mixture.

As for the flavourings, this cake really doesn’t need much. For sugar, I choose soft light brown sugar as opposed to caster sugar, purely because I think that the flavor works better with the bitter coffee. The coffee I use is instant espresso powder, though you could also use granules if you so wish, and I ground up some walnuts for, well, the walnut part of the cake. You could chop it finely if you have a nostalgic longing for the crunch, but I prefer using ground walnuts as it gives walnuttier flavor. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavour, by all means chop ‘em nuts. If you really want to go wild, and you want the crunch and a stronger nutty flavour, you could always toast your nuts first.

In terms of everything else – allow the vanilla extract, there simply is no need for that. I’ve seen some people add rum in their coffee and walnut cakes, but I don’t like that. The coffee should be the backbone of the flavour and I think the rum is a takes that away a bit.

The classic choice for the icing is a buttercream. You could do the normal buttercream, or shoosh it up by making Swiss or Italian buttercream (recipe pending… I haven’t managed to get good pictures when I’ve made them yet so bear with me). Those basically involve making a meringue mixture first and adding sugar into it. This may be a little bit too fancy for the humble coffee and walnut cake, so if buttercream is your top pick, the I’d say American buttercream is the way to go.

However, I find that buttercream is a biiit too sweet for me (I like my coffee strong, black and bitter). So, my favourite is using mascarpone cream. It’s so simple, requiring only a tub of mascarpone, some light brown sugar and some instant espresso powder.

After this incredibly long introduction, are you ready? Here is my favourite recipe for the perfect coffee and walnut cake. Enjoy!

What I used (serves 8, or 1 very hungry person)

For the cake

  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115g light brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp. of instant espresso powder
  • 50g walnuts, blitz into a fine powder

For the icing

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 8 walnut halves

What I did

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Grease 2 9” round cake tins with a removable bottom.

Make the batter. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Chuck in the rest of the cake ingredients bar the walnuts. Using the balloon whisk attachment of your standing mixer or an electric hand whisk, whisk on a high speed until the batter is light and airy (1-2 minutes). After that, use a large metal spoon and fold in the nuts gently – be careful not to knock out air from the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared tins. Level off with an off-set spatula or a tablespoon. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the cake and it comes out clean

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Now, run a palette knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Once you’ve pushed the cake out of the tin, let it rest on a wire rack until it’s completely cool.

Make the icing. Combine the mascarpone, coffee and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until you have a smooth spreadable consistency. You may need to add the 1-2 tbsp of milk to loosen it more.

Assemble. Once your cakes are cool, spread half of the icing over one and sandwich them together. Spread the rest of the icing on the top of the cake and smooth over with a palette knife. Finish off by placing walnuts in a circle around the edge, or decorate however the heck you like!

This cake is so, so incredibly easy to make, and it certainly impresses the masses. A few people in my hospital group had mentioned that this is the best coffee and walnut cake they’ve ever had, and I’ve also made this for a date (he was making dinner and I volunteered to make dessert) and I got another seal of approval there, too. Score.

So go forth and make this cake. And when your mates are impressed, don’t let ‘em know how easy it was. Bask in that glory!

Until next time,

原刊於 Water & Bay

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