I’ve been going back to my roots lately. I learned to bake from a mixture of my mother and grandmother’s recipes, and recipes from New Zealand’s iconic Edmonds cookery book. This walnut and coffee cake is without a doubt one of my favourites from the flour company’s book (with the motto ‘Sure to rise’).
Within months of first moving to London I was on the phone to home asking for a copy of the book to be posted to me. I still go back to it when my shelves of other cook books fail to inspire me, or if I’m feeling a bit homesick. I tweak this cake recipe a bit, espresso rather instant coffee, and use a little rapeseed or sunflower oil instead of butter and throw walnuts into the mixture. It’s the perfect cake to bake on a Sunday.
Coffee and walnut cake (adapted from Edmonds cookery book)
2 tablespoons strong espresso
1/3 cup of oil (sunflower or rapeseed)
3/4 cup brown sugar
scrape of fresh vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs separated
1 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk or soy/rice milk
Coffee icing (icing sugar, butter or alternative, espresso)
1. Make your espresso and set aside to cool.
2. Cream butter, sugar, coffee mixture and vanilla until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
5. Sift flour, cornflour and baking powder together.
6. Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the egg whites.
7. Stir in milk and walnuts.
8. Pour cake mixture into two greased and lined 20 cm sponge sandwich tins.
9. Bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
10. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
11. Fill and ice with Coffee Icing. Decorate with walnut pieces if desired.
P.S. Where I find cake inspiration
A few things that are helping me chase away the January blues:
1. Eating cake and buying ribbons at the lovely Ray Stitch on Essex Road. I really need to find a permanent home for my sewing machine.
2. Reading about the gorgeous Alexa, while in bed with a cold.
3. Listening to this guy, after seeing him play a smashing show at the Hackney Empire last Wednesday. (Sorry about the rubbish iPhone pic – it was dark).
4. This is Mr Ukulele’s bike. I’m spending my days looking at lady bike’s on eBay, and hoping the perfect one will crop up just for me. It’s time I replaced my old one.
5. Eating fancy mushrooms from Sporeboys at Broadway market. Reading and making yummy stews and soups my Christmas present cookbooks, this and this.
6. Loving our new old writing bureau. It was old and scummy when we bought it from a nearby charity shop. It looks much better with several licks of paint. It’s nice to have another place to sit as sometimes we’re fighting for desk space. And it doubles as drawers in the bedroom, which we had been annoyingly living without.
7. And which also doubles a sort-of dressing table for my pretty things. I’ll share a before and after of the bureau on here soon.
8. Dreaming of drinking Blood Orange Gin Sparklers in my garden, when Spring has sprung.
9. Being addicted to Instagram. Completely, utterly addicted actually. You can find me by looking for @theteapotexplodes.
10. And finally planning a city break to Paris in March. The Eurostar is super cheap this month and it’s a couple of years (far far too long) since I last went to the city of Serge Gainsbourg and Chanel. This was a tea party my sister and I had at the apartment we stayed in on my last visit. I’ve been looking up new places to go, away from the usual tourist trappings – any suggestions?
Pics all by me, except 4. by Luke and 8. from 101 Cookbooks.
Posted in Bits & pieces, Food, Lifestyle, London, Things I've made, Thrifting
Tagged Bikes, Bonnie Prince Billy, fancy mushrooms, food, serge gainsbourg, writing bureau
I finally got around to recovering my chair at the weekend with the Liberty fabric from the V&A’s Quilt exhibition.
And my new gun stapler from eBay, while quite tough to use, gave the finished product quite a professional look – if I do say so myself.
Much folding and stapling required…
I adore the fabric. The peachy roses and blue bows and leaves compliment the wooden frame beautifully. And voila! My much loved and well used £5 chair from Broadway Market has been given a well deserved makeover.
What can I attempt to reupholster properly next? More old furniture required and suggestions are welcome…