Coffee and Walnut Cake
Three tiers of gluten free cake joy, right here. This is the original formula from my Newport cafe days.
You’ll need three 20cm round cake tins, lined with greaseproof paper, and your oven set to 180c, (170c for Fan). Plus a stand mixer, to take the strain.
9 large eggs, separated
400g ground almonds
130g walnuts, medium chopped
2 tsp baking powder, (check if gluten free, if needs)
3 tsp instant coffee mixed with 3 tbsp just-boiled water
Pinch of salt
For the frosting
200g butter (I use Vegan Block as I’m dairy-free and can’t bear margarine)
400g icing sugar
4-8 tbsp strong coffee
Heat your oven to 180c.
Whisk the egg whites on a medium speed, with a pinch of salt, until firm and fluffy. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl. This could take up to five minutes – I line my tins at this stage and make coffee.
Whisk the sugar and the egg yolks until increased in volume and pale in colour. This could also take up to five minutes – now’s a good time to chop those walnuts and weigh out the almonds.
Gently fold the yolk mix into the egg whites, taking care to lose as little air from the batter as possible. Carefully add the chopped nuts, baking powder and coffee and carefully fold until clumps of egg white are no longer visible.
Place a baking tin on your scales, bring it to zero and weigh out 450g of batter. Do this for all three tins.
Bake for twenty to twenty five minutes, checking after fifteen, in case the sponges catch. If the sponges look like they are catching, loosely cover with a foil hood.
Look for an even surface – these nut based cakes are not high risers – and feeling springy to the flat of your palm.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
Cut the butter into small chunks and beat with the paddle in your stand mixer with half the quantity of icing sugar. It pays to cover the mixer with a tea cloth at this point, to avoid being consumed by a haze of powdered sugar.
Don’t worry about sieving the sugar, there really is no need. Beat for three minutes or so, until well combined and then tip in the remaining portion. Beat well for five minutes.
Add the coffee, beating slowly until you achieve a creamy consistency. Take care not to add too much liquid as the frosting needs to firm yet malleable. If you do add to much coffee, simply even up with extra icing sugar.
Double frost with a crumb coat first.
You know the drill, and if not, here's a great video.