Another coffee and walnut layer cake? Yes, and for a very good reason! I've never made this meringue cuite frosting before, and, seeing it on the Bake Off prodded me into action. The recipe I used was one by Gordon Ramsay, and the cake was described by one of my testers as the nicest coffee and walnut she'd ever had. The only problem is that it looks rather sad. Why? Because Gordon's recipe didn't make enough meringue for the top and sides, so I ended up quickly whipping up some butter icing for the middle. By that stage, the meringue had gone down, and there was even less of it - so much so I had to pipe cream around the base.
So, here is one of my failures, just in case you had the impression that everything was a success!
I've modified the recipe to include more meringue, plus a butter icing filling. So you won't have the same problem. Aren't I nice?
|Frosted Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake|
Frosted Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake
8oz/225g muscovado sugar
8oz/225g butter or spread at room temperature
4 large fresh eggs, beaten
5 tbsps/75ml espresso, cooled (or strong dark coffee)
8oz/225g sieved self raising flour
4oz/110g walnuts, finely chopped
2 tsp baking powder
8-12 walnut halves to decorate
2oz caster sugar, 1 tbsp water
Butter Icing filling:
6oz/150g sieved icing sugar (absolutely necessary or you get lumps)
3oz/75g butter or spread at room temperature
1 tablespoon coffee essence
Meringue Cuite Frosting:
3 large egg whites
5oz/150g sieved icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 170 deg C, and line three 8” loose bottom sandwich tins with parchment (or spray with a “cake release” agent), and grease the sides.
In a food processor or Kenwood, cream the buter and muscovado sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time (if the mixture starts to look grainy, add 1 tbsp flour each time). Fold in the walnuts, and the espresso, then add the baking powder and flour, folding it together until there are no little bursts of flour.
Divide the mixture between the tins and cook for 20-25 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven) until risen and golden brown. To test, the cake should have come away from the edges slightly, and if you put a (heated) knife or skewer into the middle, it will come out clean.
Tip out of the tins onto a wire rack and leave to cool. When cool, make the filling. Blend the butter, icing sugar and coffee essence in a food processor, adding a little more essence if needed to give a softer consistency – too hard and the cake top will peel off as you spread it. Sandwich the cakes together.
Place the walnut halves on a piece of parchment. Put the caster sugar and water into a small pan and heat until it becomes a dark caramel. Pour this over the walnuts, and allow to cool (I found this easier than trying to dip them!).
Now make the meringue cuite frosting. Put the egg whites in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the whites until they reach soft peaks, then carry on whisking, adding the icing sugar. Once this has been added, keep whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy. This takes ages! Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, then cover the cake, top and sides, swirling it around. Top with the walnut halves.