I love this little baby cake which I made for a special occasion of my friend’s new born baby to seduce my friend’s sweet tooth. The sparkling shine glazed walnut looks like fossil been wrap in a amber colour of lava. I posted on Nigella’s cookalong to share the new twist of her recipe here is the link http://www.nigella.com/cookalong/2013/09/entries/156
For the sponge cake
- 25 g walnut pieces
- 113 g caster sugar
- 113 g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
- 100 g plain flour
- 2 tsps instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 large egg
- 1 tbsp of milk
- 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
For the frosting
- 175 g soft unsalted butter
- 350 g icing sugar
- 2 ½ tsps instant espresso powder (dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water)
- 1 tsp of brandy
For the glazed caramel walnut
- Approx. 6 to 8 walnut halves (to decorate)
- 2 tbsps of water
- 100 g of caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
- Put the halved walnut onto a baking tray bake lined with baking paper in 180°C for about 3 to 5 minutes or until turn lightly brown. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool complete.
- To make caramel sugar, in a saucepan put together sugar and water on a heat to completely dissolve the sugar, (neverever stir the sugar) until you have a light brown then remove the pan from the heat.
- Using a thong or chopstick dip the walnut onto the warm caramel (be careful is a hot sugar syrup, don’t get it on your hand) and place the dipped walnut onto baking tray with lined baking paper. Set aside.
- Butter six 7cm / 3inch mini square 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 225g/2 sticks butter, flour, 2 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
- Add the milk, pouring it down the funnel with the motor still running, or just pulsing, to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a rubbly powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in some dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
- Divide the mixture between the 6 lined tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch or insert a skewer into the middle and it come out clean.
- 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. Carefully half the mini cakes by using bread knife, you can make the buttercream.
- Pulse the icing sugar in the food processor until it is lump free, then add the butter and process to make a smooth icing.
- Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while still hot to the processor, pulsing to blend into the buttercream.
- If you are doing this by hand, sieve the icing sugar and beat it into the butter with a wooden spoon. Then beat in the hot coffee liquid.
- Place all the halved sponges upside down on your cake stand or serving plate.
- Spread with about half the icing; then place on it the second halved sponges, right side up (i.e. so the 2 flat sides of the sponges meet in the middle) and cover the top with the remaining icing in a ramshackle swirly pattern. (I used piping bag with some decorated pattern to piped the buttercream on the top)
- This cake is all about old-fashioned, rustic charm, so don’t worry unduly: however the frosting goes on is fine. similarly, don’t fret about some buttercream oozing out around the middle: that’s what makes it look so inviting.
- Gently press the walnut halves into the top of the icing all around the edge of the circle about 1cm apart.
- For the final touch, place the glazed walnut on top of the frosting.
A very easy cakes yet so inviting to eat and this is not exactly like you see in Parisian patisserie window, I enjoyed it by just looking at them.