Sunday, 13 July 2014

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Husbands birthday tea tomorrow has had to be moved to make way for the school show that was cancelled last week due to bad weather. Had already planned a day out today, so no time to do a birthday cake up to the standard I'd do for the boys.

The birthday cake recipe I usually use is quite a solid one, needed to support the weight of the icing. No time for fancy icing today, so scrolling through my cake recipes to find something to adapt I spotted a good firm but moist choice.

So this is an adaptation of the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe…

To fill 2 round cake tins, I made a double quantity of the above recipe, with changes as follows. The inclusion of the date puree means much less sugar needed too.

For the cake:
200g Dried Dates (Chopped)
250mls Strong Coffee (250mls boiling water, plus 2 heaped tsp instant coffee)
1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
90g Dairy and Soya Free Spread (e.g. Pure/Vitalite)
90g Caster Sugar
2tsp Egg Replacer
120mls Milk Substitute
180g Gluten Free Plain Flour (I used GF white bread flour as no buckwheat) - would work with plain flour if don't need GF
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 The Caramelised Walnuts

*Caramelised Walnuts:
60g sugar
100g chopped walnuts

100g Dairy and Soya Free Spread (e.g. Pure/Vitalite)
60g Icing Sugar (or 100g if you want it sweeter)
50g Dairy and Soya Free Chocolate flakes (e.g. Mortimer/Plamil)
50mls Dairy and Soya Free Cream
1/2 The Caramelised Walnuts - blended to a paste

Heat oven to 180ÂșC

Put dates in bowl and pour over coffee and leave to soak   until softened (about 20mins). 

Meanwhile, to caramelise* your nuts, add the caster sugar to a small frying pan and leave on a medium heat to melt (don't stir it, but you can wiggle the pan from time to time).

Add the walnuts and mix through the caramel for a couple of minutes to toast (make sure you don't burn the caramel).

Pour out onto some greased foil and leave to cool before breaking into pieces.

Blend dates and coffee to form a thick paste. 

Sprinkle on the bicarbonate of soda.

Mix egg replacer with milk substitute and set aside.

Whisk the dairy free spread and sugar until light and fluffy.

Gradually whisk in the egg replacer mixture (don't worry if it begins to separate a bit).

Whisk in the flour and baking powder.

Fold in the date mixture and caramelised walnuts.

Pour into a greased lined tins (I used 2 round cake tins)

Bake for 30 minutes, until just firm to the touch.

Turn out onto a rack to cool.

For chocolate walnut praline cream:(or you could just use coffee icing)

Put chocolate flakes and 'cream' in a microwave bowl and heat until cream just boiling (about 40 seconds in mine).

Stir to form a smooth ganache and set aside to cool.

Whisk the spread and icing sugar until smooth and sugar fully dissolved.

Add the praline and whisk again.

Add the ganache and continue to whisk until you have a light fluffy creamy filling.

Put half between the cakes and half on top.

*If you don't want to caramelise the nuts, just toast 50g for the cake and add an extra 50g sugar to the cake mix
The other problem with having it a day early is wife not having time to buy more grown up candles...

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