Coffee and Walnut Cake

It’s time for another cake recipe. Yep, it’s been all about the sweet stuff recently! I’ve been talking about making a coffee and walnut cake for ages and ages, mainly because it’s my youngest sister’s favourite cake ever.  Plus I now like coffee which means it’s a cake that I want to actually make (and then eat now), whereas previously I just wasn’t bothered! So with Easter upon us, and knowing that Becca would be home with us for the celebrations, the four day weekend seemed like the perfect time to get baking. Trust me guys this is a good recipe that you can make with your basic store cupboard ingredients. It’s super easy with as it’s just a slightly amended Victoria sponge cake, but it looks gorgeous and tastes so good.

Ingredients – 

For the cake
175g softened butter
175g brown sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp strong coffee powder (i used espresso granules) mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and then cooled

For the Icing
100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
9 walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two circular baking tins
2. Cream together the butter and sugar

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the vanilla and whisk again

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then gently fold into the mixture

5. Add half of the coffee mixture and fold in again
6. Now divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 mins

Once the cakes are cooled it’s time to make the icing.

cooling cakes

7. Beat together the butter and icing sugar into a smooth icing
8. Add in the remaining coffee and mix well. Have a taste of the icing and add more coffee as needed – we added about half the same again as we like the taste of coffee a lot!

coffee buttercream
9. Use half the icing to sandwich the cakes together and then spread the remaining half on the top. Now top with your walnut halves.

cofefe and walnut cake

Happy Baking. Lau xxx

This recipe originates from The Baking Book by Dorling Kindersley.

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Oreo Brownies

A few weeks ago I had the need to bake something and really fancied brownies, but wanted to try something new. Having done normal brownies, blondies, butternut squash brownies, red velvet cheesecake and even mint brownies in the past I was struggling to find a new recipe until I stumbled upon a Lorraine Pascal one in Baking Made Easy. As soon as I saw the recipe I was hooked, I mean brownies and Oreo biscuits, surely a match made in heaven? These are not only super easy to make, but they also taste absolutely scrumptious. I was initially concerned that the brownies were too sloppy once they came out of the oven, but after popping them in the fridge overnight they were a lot more stable and more brownie-like. It’s not surprising they were quite squidgy as you don’t add massive amounts of flour to the mixture, so it is quite runny when you pop it in the tin.

You will need:

  • 165g butter
  • 200g dark chocolate – finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 165g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 154g Oreo biscuits – broken into quarters

And all you do is:

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together
  • Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla essence in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy
  • Add the sugar a bit at a time, whisking after each addition (make sure you pour the sugar round the side of the bowl so as not to knock out the air you’ve whisked in)
  • Once the mixture has stiffened pour in the chocolate mixture (pour round the sides again)
  • Next add the flour, cocoa powder and a third of the Oreos and stir until combined
  • Pour into a greased and lined tin (21cm square)
  • Sprinkle the rest of the Oreos over the top and press them into the mixture slightly
  • Bake at 180⁰C for 25-30 minutes until the middle is gooey.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before removing, cutting up and scoffing them all!

20130825-202301.jpg

See I told you they were simple to make and to be honest the very small effort is totally worth it as they are scrumptious, with just the perfect brownie texture – I promise you’ll love them! Let me know if you make them, I’d love to hear how they turned out!

– Fi xx

The original version of this post, Amazing Recipes: Oreo Brownies was first published on the blog Fi’s Daily Ponderings

The Great British Bake Off is back!

Just checking in to remind everyone in the UK that The Great British Bake Off is back on our TVs tomorrow night – Tuesday 20th August – and we couldn’t be more excited! Fi and I have been missing the brilliantness that is Paul and Mary as well as the hysterical times of Mel and Sue, hence the super levels of excitement.

You may remember that our obsession with the GBBO culminated in our Bake Off Send Off evening last year, where we got together with friends to watch the final episode and bake our favourite things from the show. Fi even baked a showstopper cake, what a masterpiece.

The trailer for the series is available to watch here and it looks like there’s going to be sandwich cakes, bread and maybe even trifles (or have I made that up?) plus of course lots of gorgeous kitchen aid mixers – baker envy here right now!

Happy watching Lau xxx

Morning Rolls

A couple of weeks ago I was having a bit of an obsession with soup. I think it was because the weather was miserable, but all I fancied eating was something warm, filling and different. That’s the best thing about soup there are so many different flavour options. Anyway with my soup I wanted bread, bread to smother in butter and dunk into my leek and potato or country veg. I therefore decided to make some rolls that could go in the freezer, that way I could take a couple out in the morning and enjoy them warmed up in the evening with my soup. Now we all know that I like to make loaves of bread, but i’ve actually never made rolls. How is that possible you ask? Well put simply, I like what I know, so I do what I know. End of story. Anyways I scouted around for a roll recipe and found a Morning Rolls recipe in one of my favourite DK books.

I decided to keep the rolls quite small so that I could have a couple at a time, rather than one big one. The size was similar to a snooker ball and made 18 if that helps you work out what you want to do sizewise.

Ingredients –
500g white bread flour
2tsp light soft brown sugar
7g fast-action dried yeast
2tsp salt

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Add 275ml of tepid water to form a soft dough.
Knead for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled bowl and leave in a warm place to double in size – about 1 hour.
Turnout onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Divide and shape into equal shaped balls. Place these onto oiled baking trays and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Place in a preheated oven (200C) for 20 minutes. They should be brown on top and sound hollow when tapped.
Once they were cooled I put most of them in the freezer for another day. When you do want them just defrost before warming in the oven.

Lau xx

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

A week or two ago a friend of ours organised a charity cake sale and asked everyone to pitch in and make some delicious treats to sell. Well of course Fi and I both jumped into the challenge with both feet. Fi opted to make her favourite treats – the M&M version of her beloved blondies – and I decided to try out something new. After the usual search on, you guessed it, Pinterest, I settled on these Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies from Just a Taste. Basically you make a mixture of red velvet cake and cheesecake topping and layer the two up to make a suitably delicious tray bake to slice up.

So what do you need and what do you do?

Ingredients

For the Red Velvet Brownie:
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon red food coloring
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake filling:
1 cup cream cheese – softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line and grease the cake tin
Mix the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, food colouring and salt together. Then add the white vinegar.
Whisk the eggs together and add to the batter, then fold in the flour.
Pour the batter into the pan, leaving 1/4 in the bowl for later.
Using an electric whisk blend together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until well combined.
Spread the mix on top of the layer of brownie batter and then dollop spoonfulls of the remaining brownie batter over this. Use a knife to swirl the brownie batter and cream cheese together into a swirly pattern.
Pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Insert a skewer to check if they are cooked – the perfect brownie should stick slightly to the skewer.

And voila, yum yum yum!

My only issue with this recipe is that the brownies were very thin. I think next time I bake these i’ll either double the recipe or use a smaller cake tin. The original recipe calls for a 8×8 square tin, but my batter only just reached the edges. Either way the cakes tasted delicious and went down very well at the cake sale.

Lau xxx