Time for a bit of birthday baking... not for us you understand but my lovely sister (and designer of our fantastic sheep logo) Serena! It was her birthday a few days ago so we thought we should celebrate with cake. While not a fan of chocolate, she does love coffee-flavoured anything so this was the perfect opportunity to try out a little coffee and walnut number. We've based our recipe on this one from Nigella but with a few tweaks.
Mix 225g caster sugar, 225g vitalite, 200g plain flour, 2.5 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda, and 4 eggs together in a bowl. Make up some coffee, we used a 3-cup moka pot which gave one espresso cup for the cake, one for the icing, and one for the baker who was feeling a little sleepy... Once your cake mixture is a nice smooth batter, add in an espresso cup of cooled coffee and mix in. Stir in 60g of walnut pieces tossed in a little plain flour. Divide between two 20cm round tins and bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Once the cakes are cool you can begin icing! We used roughly 50g vitalite, 250g sifted icing sugar, and one espresso cup of cooled coffee. Butter icing is fairly versatile however, so keep adding in icing sugar until you have the consistency you require. We decided to pipe swirls onto the top of the cake so wanted quite a stiff buttercream for this. We should add that, as Vitalite is quite soft, you typically need more icing sugar that recipes needing butter. Anyway, using an electric whisk, beat your icing ingredients together until they reach the consistency you're after. Smear a couple of tablespoons of icing onto one the cakes to sandwich them together, then use the rest to be creative on the top of the cake. We used a piping bag to create swirls on the top then decorated with walnut pieces.