I only have one picture if it in it's tin as she didn't want to cut into it at the party. In her words 'I'm having this cake to myself at home!'. So I'm hoping it all worked out and she like it :)
I did an adaptation of a Nigella coffee cake which I've done before. It's great, though you might want to lower the caffeine if you intend to give this one to the kids!
For the sponge
75 gram(s) walnuts (pieces)
337 gram(s) caster sugar
337 gram(s) unsalted butter (soft (plus some for greasing))
300 gram(s) plain flour
6 teaspoon(s) espresso coffee
3 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
6 medium eggs
3 tablespoon(s) milk
For the buttercream frosting
525 gram(s) icing sugar
260 gram(s) unsalted butter (softened)
3 1/4 teaspoon(s) espresso coffee
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) water (boiling)
40 gram(s) walnuts (crushed)
20g dark chocolate shavings
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Butter the 3 sandwich tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.
Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine nutty powder.
Add the 337g butter, flour, 6 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, bicarb and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
Add the milk, while still mixing to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a coarse powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in the dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
Divide the mixture between the 3 lined tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch.
Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.
When the sponges are cool, you can make the buttercream.
I find this best to do using a hand-held mixer rather than a food processor, though you can obviously do both or even by hand. Place the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and add the soft butter, mix with thoroughly with the electric mixer until smooth and lump free.
Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 2 tablespoons boiling water and add it while still hot to the bowl, mixing to blend into the buttercream. Mix for a good 5 minutes at least to get it nice and fluffy.
Place 1 sponge upside down on your cake stand or serving plate.
Spread with some of the icing; then place on it the second sponge, right side up and cover the top with more icing placing the last sponge on top. Now carefully spatula the remaining icing onto the sides of the cake and on top. This can be a little tricky, especially if you're cake is quite crumbly (which mine was) but don't worry if you gets crumbs of cake in the mix, your chopped walnuts and chocolate will hopefully cover this.
Now sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and chocolate.
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