This cake is just right for a quick bite along with a cup of cappuccino, which is probably why it is showcased in so many cafes and pastry shops around the world. I honestly have no idea how popular Coffee and Walnut cake is in Mauritian households, though I did spy cakes by the same name in a couple of ‘haut de gamme’ patisseries and à la carte dessert menus. But, of course, you do not need to walk into a pastry shop to meet Coffee & Walnut. With this recipe, from Delicious Magazine, you can serve yourself a generous slice of cake within an hour [or less, if you bake them as cupcakes]. The frosting does not need any elaborate piping or fancy toppings but, trust me, it just needs to be there.

COFFEE & WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Coffee Cake

225g vegetable oil + extra for greasing

100g walnuts, roughly chopped

225g light brown soft sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

225g all purpose flour

2 tablespoons instant espresso

1 tablespoon boiling water

4 medium free-range eggs, beaten

For the Coffee Icing

1 medium free-range egg

100g caster sugar

125g unsalted butter, softened

25g full-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon coffee extract

1 teaspoon instant espresso

1 teaspoon boiling water

120g icing sugar

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line base of a 20cm loose-based cake tin with baking paper.
  • For cake mixture, put the walnuts, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and plain flour into a mixing bowl.

  • Mix well with a metal spoon or balloon whisk. Make a well in centre and add vegetable oil and espresso.
  • Add the beaten eggs, then mix thoroughly until you have a smooth batter. Spoon mix into lined cake tin.

  • Bake cake for about 60 minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil after 40 minutes if it is getting too brown.
  • Once cooked, take out of oven and put on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully it remove from tin.

  • Leave cake to cool completely on the rack. While the cake is cooling on the rack, prepare the coffee icing.
  • Find a large heatproof mixing bowl that sits snugly on top of a medium saucepan to make a double boiler.

  • Fill pan halfway up with boiling water, making sure it does not touch bowl. Bring water back to the boil.
  • Then reduce to gentle simmer. Put the egg and caster sugar in the mixing bowl and sit on top of the pan.

  • Using an hand held electric mixer, beat the sugar and egg until thick and pale in colour about 5 minutes.
  • The beaters should leave a trail of the mixture when lifted. Whisk in the softened butter a little at a time.

  • Add cream cheese, coffee extract and liquid espresso. Sift in icing sugar, then whisk it in at a lower speed.
  • Chill the icing for 2 hours, so that it firms up. Once the sponge has cooled, cut it in half through the centre.

  • Spread one third of icing on the bottom half of sponge. Sandwich with the top half, spread the rest all over.
  • Decorate with chopped walnuts. It will keep in an airtight container for a day or in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Coffee & Walnut Classic