Mini coffee and walnut cakes
- May 2014
- Makes 16
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 25-30 min
These mini coffee and walnut sponge cakes come with a creamy coffee icing and walnut praline topping for added wow factor. They’re the perfect little bites if you’re hosting afternoon tea!
- 28.4g (15g saturated)
- 50g (40.8g sugars)
- 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 3 tsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 75g walnuts, chopped
For the walnut praline
- 125g caster sugar
- 40g walnuts, chopped
- Vegetable oil for greasing
For the icing
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 325g icing sugar
- 2-3 tsp instant coffee granules mixed with 2 tsp boiling water
- 2 tbsp whisky (rum or brandy would also work)
- Splash double cream
- Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/ gas 4. Grease a 23cm square tin and line the base with baking paper. Put the butter and golden caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the coffee, self-raising flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts until combined. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, level the top, then bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the praline, put the 125g caster sugar in a small pan over a low heat and allow to gently melt, tilting the pan occasionally. (Resist the urge to stir it as this will cause it to crystallise.) Once the sugar has melted, let it cook until it forms a rich caramel. Scatter the walnuts over a well-oiled baking sheet, then pour over the caramel and leave to cool.
- To make the icing, put the butter and the icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a clean electric hand mixer until combined. Beat in the coffee, whisky and cream.
- When ready to serve, put the cake on a board and use a large serrated knife to cut it into 16 squares. Slice each square in half horizontally, fill with a dollop of icing, then ice the top. Break up the praline, then use to decorate the cakes.
Make the sponge the day before, then wrap well in baking paper and cling film.
Cut and ice the cakes just before serving to prevent them drying out. Freeze the un-iced sponge, well wrapped in baking paper and foil, for up to a month. Defrost fully before cutting and icing.
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