Walnut and Coffee Sponge Cake

This is a must recipe for those coffee and nut lovers. Two light coffee and chopped walnut sponges are sandwiched together with a coffee butter icing and completely covered with more icing. Then walnut halves are used to decorate the top.

Print Recipe

Walnut and Coffee Sponge Cake

  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 225 g (8 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (1⅛ cups)
  • 225 g (8 oz) butter, softened (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 1 tbsp coffee essence/extract OR 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of boiling water
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • 115 g (4 oz) chopped walnuts (1 cup)
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • For the icing
  • 140 g (5 oz) butter, softened (⅔ cup, or 1¼ sticks)
  • 340 g (12 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cup)
  • tbsp coffee essence/extract
  • 13 walnut halves for decoration

Equipment

  • You will also need 2 x 20.5 cm (8 inch) cake pans, greased and base lined.
  • Method
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the coffee essence/extract.
  • Sift the flour into a separate bowl.
  • Now beat in the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each egg which will prevent curdling.
  • Then fold in the remaining flour and chopped nuts.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes, until the top of the cakes are firm and spring back when gently pressed with the tip of a finger.
  • Remove from the oven and place the pans on cooling racks for 1 minute before turning out the sponges and removing the liners. Leave on the cooling racks to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, to make the icing, sift the icing/powdered sugar into a large bowl and add the butter and coffee essence/extract. Beat together until the icing is smooth.
  • Once the sponges are cool, spread one third of the icing over the top of one sponge. Then sandwich together with the other sponge.
  • Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  • Finally decorate the top with the walnut halves.
Print Recipe

Currant Shortbread

Currant Shortbread

12 wedges
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time 45–50 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 170 g (6 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1⅓ cups)
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp)
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 55 g (2 oz) currants (½ cup)
  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and creamy.
  • Then mix in the flour and currants until a dough if formed.
  • Knead lightly.
  • On a large, greased, baking sheet, roll or press the dough into a round measuring 20 cm (8 inches).
  • Prick all over with a fork and then mark into 12 equal wedges.
  • Lightly crimp round the edge.
  • Now bake above the centre of the oven for 45–50 minutes until firm to the touch and golden.
  • Remove from the oven and cut into the wedges while still warm.
  • Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Print Recipe

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

10 servings
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 5 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 285 g (10 oz) digestive biscuits, finely crushed (24 biscuits)
  • 140 g (5 oz) butter (⅝ cup, or 1¼ sticks)
  • For the filling
  • 70 g (2½ oz) butter (⅓ cup)
  • 225 g (8 oz) dark muscovado/soft dark brown sugar, lightly packed (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) milk (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the topping
  • 4 bananas
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 14 g (½ oz) chocolate shavings

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed tin or springform pan, base lined.
  • Method
  • For the base
  • Melt the butter in a small pan and then tip in the crushed biscuits.
  • Stir until the crumbs are coated with the butter.
  • Tip into the tin or pan. Using the base of a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup, pack them down to evenly coat the base and also create a rim, 2.5 cm (1 inch) up the sides to form a pie shell.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • For the filling
  • First mix the vanilla extract and eggs yolks together and then put to one side.
  • Then melt the butter in a small pan.
  • Now stir the sugar into the butter. Let it dissolve over a low heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Put the cornflour/cornstarch into a small bowl. Add a ¼ of the milk and stir to mix together.
  • Slowly stir in the remaining milk.
  • Then gradually stir the milk into the butter and sugar mixture until smooth.
  • Return the pan to a medium-high heat and bring the milk to a boil, stirring continuously. The mixture should now have thickened.
  • Reduce the heat and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Give it a quick stir and then spoon into the pie shell and level the surface.
  • Chill for 20 minutes.
  • For the filling
  • Carefully remove the pie from the tin or pan and place on a serving plate.
  • Now slice the bananas and use them to decorate the top by covering in concentric circles, starting from the outside.
  • Whip the cream until peak stage is reached. Then dollop the cream on top of the bananas but leave the outside ring of bananas exposed.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate shavings over the cream.
Print Recipe

Mocha Muffins

Mocha Muffins

15 muffins
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25–30 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 285 g (10 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (2¼ cups less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 140 g (5 oz) butter (⅔ cup)
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp very strong black coffee or coffee extract.
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 284 ml carton buttermilk (1¼ cups less 1 tbsp)
  • 200 g (7 oz) chocolate chips (1¼ cups)
  • demerara sugar for sprinkling

Equipment

  • You will also need 2 muffin pans and 15 paper muffin cases.
  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Beat butter, caster sugar, and coffee together until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Now sift the flour, soda, and salt into a separate bowl.
  • Then fold a third of the flour into the creamed mixture.
  • Follow by adding a third of the buttermilk.
  • Repeat twice more.
  • Finally fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 25–30 minuets, until well risen and firm to the touch.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle demerara sugar over the tops.
  • Leave for two minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Print Recipe