Unfortunately, due to administrative arrangements at my Pilates clinic, I once again have to say goodbye to a Pilates instructor. This time it was Treena, whose days are being swapped to fill in for someone else going on extended leave.
Treena has always been interested in and appreciative of my baking, so I baked her a cake all of her own for our last Monday class together - a Walnut and Coffee Cake from Lomelino's Cakes.
I wanted to try the cake myself, so I baked a cupcake-sized version for myself:
The cake was very light and not overly coffee-tasting:
However, the icing containing coffee and Kahlua was very coffee-tasting - perhaps a little too strong for my tastes. Instead of making a ganache to decorate the cake, I mixed in some cocoa to the leftover buttercream and topped the swirls with walnut halves rather than malted milk balls:
The other changes that I made to the recipe were to not bother splitting the two layer cakes into two, so I had just two layers instead of four, and not including the cream in the frosting so that it had better keeping qualities.
To make this cake, you will need:
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and ground
1 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons hot water
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line two 8" layer cake tins.
Dissolve the coffee powder in the boiling water and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Pour the flour mixture and the ground walnuts into the batter and beat until well combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cakes from the oven, cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then unmould onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, dissolve two tablespoons of instant coffee powder in 1 tablespoon of hot water, then set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 150g of butter until almost white, then beat in 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, the cooled coffee mixture and 2 tablespoons of Kahlua. Beat until light and fluffy.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake board or plate, and spread one third of the frosting over that layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the iced layer, then spread the remainder of the frosting over the outside of the cake. If you like, reserve about half a cup of frosting, stir in a tablespoon of cocoa, and place that icing into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes on top of the cake. Top each rosette with half a walnut.