Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

These little cakes are an adaptation of ones made on the Great British Bake-off. Coffee cupcakes with chopped walnuts have a coffee buttercream filling, chopped walnuts round the sides and a swirl of buttercream on the top. They really are delicious and, although each step takes a bit of time, they are not difficult and well worth the effort.

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

16 cupcakes
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the cakes
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170 g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/light brown sugar (¾ cup + 1½ tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170 g (6 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 85 g (3 oz) chopped walnuts (⅔ cup)
  • For the icing and decoration
  • 565 g (1¼ lb) icing/powdered sugar (5 cups)
  • 200 g (7 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1¾ sticks)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • tbsp coffee extract
  • 170 g (6 oz) walnuts, finely chopped (1⅓ cups)

Equipment

  • 2 × 12 hole bun/muffin trays
  • a piping bag fitted with a 2D star nozzle, the size used to swirl icing on the top of cupcakes


  • Method
  • For the cakes
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  • Grease 16 of the bun/muffin holes. Base line them with parchment paper or just cut out the bottom of cupcake liners which is easier. (Don’t use the whole cupcake liner as you want the sides of the cakes to remain flat and quite firm.)

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg. Next mix in the coffee extract. Now fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Alternatively add all the ingredients together in a food mixer and beat until well combined.

  • Finally gently fold in the nuts.

  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 16 prepared bun/muffin holes and then pop in the oven for about 18 minutes until the top of the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of the forefinger.

  • Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes for the cakes to become cool enough to handle. Take a small palette knife and run round the outside of the cakes to make sure they are free from the sides of the bun/muffin holes. Then carefully lift them out, peeling off the liners, and leave on a cooling rack to become cold.

  • For the icing and decoration
  • While the cakes are cooling the icing can be prepared.

  • Put the butter into a large bowl and then mix in half the sifted icing/powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until creamy. Then beat in the remaining icing/powdered sugar. Add in the milk and coffee extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

  • Once the sponges have become cold, cut them in half horizontally. Do this very carefully as the sponges will be very light in texture. Using a little less than a quarter of the buttercream, spread a layer over the bottom half of each cake and then sandwich them back together again.

  • Now spread a very thin layer of the buttercream around the sides of each cake. Again this needs to be done very gently, being careful not to put pressure on the top and bottom of the cakes as you do it, or they become squashed.

  • Now roll the sides of each cake in the chopped nuts until thickly coated.

  • Finally, fill the icing bag, fitted with the star nozzle, with the remaining buttercream and swirl the icing over the top of each cake.
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Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce

Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce

A very tasty dish that takes just 20 minutes to cook. Pork steaks or tenderloin and sliced mushrooms are sautéed in olive oil and served in a creamy mustard and white wine sauce with thyme.

Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 pork loin steaks, or a piece of pork tenderloin cut into 4
  • 225 g (8 oz) mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 12 button mushrooms)
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) dry white wine (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • fresh chives, optional

To serve

  • new or baby potatoes and a green salad, green beans, or spinach

Equipment

  • large frying pan/skillet


  • Method
  • First, warm a plate in the oven.
  • Place the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Add the butter and once it has melted and begins to foam, add the pork. Brown the pork on both sides, about 5 minutes. Now reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the warmed plate and and keep warm in the oven.
  • Next toss the mushrooms in the pan to coat and cook until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the plate with the pork.
  • Blend the flour into the pan juices. Gradually stir in the wine until the sauce is smooth and then add the thyme leaves. Increase the heat and let it bubble until reduced by about two-thirds.

  • Turn the heat down to low and stir in the crème fraîche and mustard to warm through. Do not let the mixture boil as it will make the mustard taste bitter. Season.

  • Return the pork, mushrooms and any juices, to the pan and stir the sauce.
  • Heat everything through very gently and then serve garnished with snipped chives, if liked.
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Updated: October 4, 2017