Monthly Archives: July 2013

19. Coffee and Walnut Cake

Well well well, where does the time go?! It’s been nearly 5 weeks since my last post – must try harder! This week I decided to do a request – coffee and walnut cake. Suprisingly I’ve never made this classic before, probably because I don’t like coffee or walnuts, but decided not to be selfish, it’s not always my cake time! I started my making the cake mix. The coffee flavouring comes from instant coffee mixed with water and when it came to tipping this in it made a cool arty pattern, like some sort of macabre waterfall, so I took a picture!

Coffee going into the cake mix

Coffee going into the cake mix

After adding the rest of the ingredients it looked like this…

Cake mix

Cake mix

Now the mixture was for 8″ tins which I don’t have (don’t fret, thay are on order!), I only have 7″ sandwich tins. Incidentally I had a look at what they had in Sainsburys and they have a few different options but in the standard range the 7″ and 8″ were the same size so I borrowed a ruler form the stationary aisle to check and loads of the tins were miles off the labelled size – it seemed the more you spent the more accurate the size. I’d like to think accurate sizes are pretty fundamental whether it’s Basics or Taste the Difference! I’m planning a stongly worded letter with my photographic evidence any day now.

Anyway… as I have learnt from experience trying to fit an 8″ sandwich recipe in my shallow 7″ tins just ends in a messy oven and a lot of smoke alarm action. I therefore decided to use my other 7″ standard tin to make a third layer and once the mixture was distributed between the tins I popped them in the oven.

In the oven

In the oven

Once done, I turned them out the tins and left to cool.

Just out the oven

Just out the oven

While cooling I made coffee buttercream (again with instant coffee) and onced cooled I decorated with the buttercream and walnut halves.

Finished cake

Finished cake

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As I’m not a fan I haven’t tried any but it looked pretty good and have been assured by my willing victims, um, tasters, that it tasted pretty good too! I quite like the traditional look of this cake, nothing fancy, nothing modern, no speciality tools or equipment needed, just a proper old fashioned cake you’d expect to get round your gran’s.

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18. Rainbow Whoopie Pies

This week I decided to do something a bit different, rainbow whoopie pies! There’s no particular reason they’re rainbow, they are all the same flavour, it’s just to make them look pretty I guess. I had a stab at the traditional chocolate with marshmallow filling a while back but I wanted to make another attempt for the blog. For those of you who don’t know what a whoopie pie is, they are an American invention and you can read up on them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whoopie_pie

I started by making a large quantity of ‘batter’ that’s kind of like a sponge cake mix but has buttermilk in it and is a bit runnier.

Batter

Batter

I split the mixture into six equal batches and coloured each a different colour of the rainbow!

First set of colours

First set of colours

Second set of colours

Second set of colours

I used a speciality whoopee pie tin to bake my pies (from Amazon) that are easily available. You can pipe them into circles and bake them that way but I had neither the time nor the patience to do that! As I only had one tin I had to bake in two batches, each pie has two halves so I did four of each colour, enough for two pies.

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They only take 10-12 minutes to bake. They came out of the oven all lovely and risen and rounded and then promptly sunk! I then left them to cool.

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I then made a batch of standard vanilla buttercream for the filling. This was then piped on the flat side of a half then sandwiched together with another half. All done!

Sandwiched together

Sandwiched together

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They are described by the Americans as a cross between a cookie (biscuit) and a cake, but I’d say they are definitely more on the side of cake. They are soft and very moist. The best way I think to describe them, but not in a negative way, is claggy. Kind of sticky and stick to the roof of your mouth and a bit dense, but nice all the same! They’re not too sweet (the filling, in this case buttercream, adds most of the sweetness) and I don’t think I could manage more than one at a time! As always, lovely with a cuppa. 😉

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