I held up pretty well all week throughout the conference where I was serving on the televesion crew, but now I'm feeling a whole lot worse. To give you an apt description, my throat feels like razorblades, my nose is blocked, my eyes are bloodshot and all I want to do is sleep. In order not to spread my "cooties" to everyone else, I am opting to strike out of cooking and baking until I get a lot better. But so as not to neglect this poor old blog, here is a recipe from the vault that I haven't posted about.
I made this layer cake about 4 weeks ago and took photos but then completely forgot all about it. I think it may have been overshadowed by other pressing posts- like all those cookies I made during the bad weather week in the series A Cache of Cookies. Not that those cookies tasted so much better, but this cake disappeared with such speed and stealth that I almost forgot that I made it.
The original recipe asked for groundnut oil, although as I was making this cake on the fly, I substituted for macadamia oil and the result, I imagine is just as good if it had been groundnut. The use of oil in the batter prioduces an extremely moist springy crumb and adds a depth of flavour that is subtle, yet still palpable. The walnuts also adds to the cakes nuttiness. If you don't like walnuts (like me), then you probably won't be too crazy about this cake. What I did to get around this is to just pick out the walnuts and just eat the cake. They are big enough to be able to pick out once baked. But nonetheless everyone else who ate it loved walnuts.
So here is the recipe, I'm sorry I cannot be more descriptive, right now I feel like a festering pool of bacteria. So perhaps when I get better I will be able to bake and post to you something new.
Layered Espresso Walnut Loaf
adapted from this book
FOR THE CAKE
225g self-raising flour
225g light muscovado sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
225ml macadamia oil
4 eggs, separated
50ml espresso, cooled
50ml full cream milk
75g nibbed or chopped walnuts
FOR THE FILLING
300ml pure cream (35-45% milk fat)
1 tsp ground espresso
1 tbsp caster sugar
FOR THE ICING
100g icing (confectioner’s) sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp espresso
a handful of walnut halves, to decorate
MAKING THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease and line a 22cm loaf tin with parchment paper.
Sift flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
Add the oil, egg yolks, espresso and milk and beat until smooth.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture in two additions.
Stir in the walnuts and pour batter into prepared loaf tin, smoothing the surface using a spatula.
Give the tin several sharp taps on the worktop to allow any bubbles to rise.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a wire rack.
Place the right way up and leave to cool completely.
MAKING THE ESPRESSO CREAM
In a large bowl, combine cream, sugar and ground espresso and whip until just stiff.
Slit the cake into three layers, cutting the first just below the top line of the tin to take into account the risen surface.
Spread the espresso cream over the lower two layers and sandwich together.
MAKING THE ICING
Blend the icing sugar and coffee together and drizzle down the centre of the cake, smoothing it towards the sides using a palette knife.
Decorate the top with walnut halves and dust with some icing sugar.
Serve when the icing has set.