I do tend to start my mornings with a big cup of coffee, and I intend to keep that habit. But the rest of the day I’ll be drinking green tea; I might even attempt having a cup of green tea alongside my morning coffee.
Some time ago on Twitter, Harry Judd, the drummer of my favourite band, McFly, tweeted a photo of a mug of coffee and a mug of green tea saying this is what he has every morning, and I’ve thought if he can do it, so can I.
Before today I used to have four large coffees a day, I am now going to start having just one cup of coffee when I wake up, and one in the afternoon, the rest of the day I will either be drinking green tea, water or juice. As for alcohol, I already drink just one beer or cider every few months, even that.
Now onto today’s recipe. Just a little something to go with that afternoon cup of java.
The other day we had company coming, so I decided to make a cake. But rather than go for chocolate or carrot or lemon, I thought I’m going to go for something else. After much thought, I chose to make this one.
The method for the cake itself is based on the one for my go-to basic loaf cake, with a few alternations. The icing is adapted from one of Nigella Lawson’s, which I think I will be using again, maybe with a chocolate cake next time.
When I make this cake again, I’d add two teaspoons of coffee to the sponge instead of one. I like it strong. Or I might even use espresso powder, I would’ve used it to start with but we didn’t have any, in which case I’d recommend using 1 teaspoon.
Coffee Walnut Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – makes a 900g loaf cake
All this needs is a cup of milky coffee on a Sunday afternoon, with a good film.
1-2 tsp instant coffee, to taste
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk
50g walnuts, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 170c/fan 150c/gas 3. Prepare a 900g/2lb loaf tin. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and coffee together and set this aside.
In the bowl of a free-standing food mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg and coffee mixture, then the vanilla. (You can do this also by hand, which I tend to usually do, or by a hand-held electric hand whisk.) Remember to scrape down the sides as you go.
Remove the bowl from the machine, sift in the flour, and gently fold in using a large metal spoon, followed by the milk. Finally add the walnuts.
Scrape the mixture into your tin. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes. I’ve found that with my oven I needed to cover with foil after 35 minutes, and return to the oven for another ten. The cake is done when a skewer, inserted in the centre, comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile you can get on with the icing.
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting – adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe
2 tsp instant coffee
50g softened butter
50g cream cheese, room temperature
225g icing sugar, sifted
First off, dissolve the coffee in 1 tablespoon boiling water, and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add in the icing sugar, until smooth.
Gradually add in the coffee, a teaspoon at a time, until it’s at your desired level of coffee flavour.
Spread the icing over the surface of your cooled cake. Decorate with either walnut halves, or chopped walnuts.
Variation: I’m thinking of making one with 100g finely chopped best quality white chocolate to create a cake based on my favourite coffee drink from a certain Seattle based coffee chain. If you’re not a white chocolate fan, dark will be fine too, even milk chocolate.
Or you could even use pecans or hazelnuts. Then again, you can always omit the nuts if you prefer.