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November 27, 2011
Easy Coffee and Walnut Cake (حلال)
All-in-one Walnut Sponge with Coffee Cream, the best sponge of all, and should work even if you've never made a cake before in your life.
110g / 4oz self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
110g margarine (whipped vegetable fat), at room temperature
110g / 4oz golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1 ½ tablespoons of boiling water
50g / 2oz finely chopped walnuts
For the filling and topping;
250g / 9oz Mascarpone cheese
1 dessertspoon instant espresso powder
1 rounded dessertspoon golden caster sugar
8 walnut halves
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC, 325ºF, gas mark 3
Take a very large mixing bowl, put the flour and baking powder in a sieve and sift it into the bowl, holding the sieve high to give it a good airing as it goes down. Now all you do is simply add all the other cake ingredients (except the walnuts and coffee) to the bowl and, provided the margarine is really soft, just go in with an electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture. This will take about 1 minute but, if you don't have an electric hand whisk, you can use a wooden spoon and a little bit more effort. What you should end up with is a soft mixture that drops off the spoon easily when you give it a sharp tap. Then add the coffee mixture and the chopped walnuts and whisk them together.
Divide the mixture between the prepared sandwich tins, spreading the mixture around evenly. Then give each tin a sharp tap to even the mixture out and place the tins on the centre shelf of the oven and bake them for 30 minutes.
While the cakes are cooking you can make up the filling and topping, and all you do here is place all the ingredients, except the walnut halves, in a bowl and whisk them together till thoroughly blended. Then cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill till needed.
When the cakes are cooked, i.e. feel springy in the centre, leave them in their tins for about 30 seconds then loosen the edges by sliding a palette knife all round and turn them out on to a wire cooling rack. Peel off the base papers carefully and, when cool sandwich the cakes together with half of the coffee cream, then carefully on top and spread the other half over.
Finally, arrange the reserved walnut halves in a circle all around. It's a good idea to chill the cake if you're not going to serve it immediately.