Monday 17 December 2012

Sunday Baking: Yakob Cake

My good work friend Yakob has a birthday this week. Coffee and walnut is his professed favourite cake and since school rescheduled a parents evening onto his birthday ( the last week of term...THANKS) I thought I had better make a big effort and throw in some chocolate too.


My last effort with coffee and walnut is here but I wanted to try a different recipe; initially I was going to adapt the one I baked from the Dan Lepard book (mustn't have blogged about it, but it was coffee and brazil nut and very delicious) but it was a bit worthy for a birthday cake, with the wholemeal flour. So I dug out the Delia and adapted something from her How To Cook book one.

1.5 tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water
150g walnuts
175g plain flour
3.5 tsp baking powder
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
2 cups strong filter coffee
The grounds from said coffee
One vanilla pod, split and scraped
150g coffee chocolate (mine is Divine coffee milk chocolate that I bought by accident, thinking it was their normal milk chocolate, which is my favourite...I was disappointed when I started eating it and realised my mistake. But then I knew those bars would eventually become something for Yakob. One doesn't often come across people who love coffee-flavoured things so he is a bit of a novelty.)
75g double cream

Begin by making the syrup. Put everything for the syrup in a small saucepan - I guess I used maybe 4oz of sugar, half light muscovado, half white, but you will need to taste it really. Some peopl like their coffee very sweet, after all. Boil rapidly until reduced by two thirds - 20 minutes or so. Strain through muslin and taste for sweetness - it should be quite a syruppy consistency. Leave to get cold.

Toast the walnuts in the oven at 180 degrees C for 6 minutes. Put 12 halves to one side for decoration and then chop the rest roughly.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add all the other cake ingredients except the coffee and walnuts and beat until smooth. Beat in the coffee and stir in the walnuts. Turn into a 10 inch tin and bake at 180 C until a skewer comes out clean - about 35 minutes.When it comes out of the oven, skewer all over and pour over the cold syrup. This is my best tip for syrupping cakes - always cold syrup on hot cake, or hot syrup on cold cake. Leave in the tin until completely cooled.


Make the ganache by melting the chocolate together with the cream in the microwave (or however you prefer) and stirring together until smooth and combined. It is two parts chocolate to one part cream; I had 150g of chocolate. There was plenty for this cake. Pour generously over the cake and decorate with the reserved walnut halves.

You may note the bubbles in my ganache. This would be because I beat it too severely, but that coffee chocolate did NOT want to melt.It's nice and glossy, at least. Also, for some reason, the cake rose more on one side than the other. That might be because I am so lazy about preparing cake tins I now always use my massive silicone tin; in a smaller tin, in two layers, I doubt that would happen.

Tasting tomorrow! Can't wait.

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