If your day typically starts with a fresh cup of coffee, then boy, do I have a cake for you. Today’s featured recipe is a rustic cake that’s simple enough for everyday baking yet perfectly lovely for special occasions. Rich notes of coffee are baked into every last crumb, starting with the loaf cake itself and then building in the mascarpone cream filling and coffee glaze icing. Walnuts add both flavor and texture to the cake while taking on a second role of elegant garnish. Creating a tempting new recipe for your must-bake list.
It all comes to us from the new book, The Baking Bible, by internationally acclaimed food writer Annie Bell. This beautifully illustrated book is filled with classic recipes that you’ll want to make and make again. With over 200 favorite recipes that have been triple-tested, you’ll never again bake a cake that fails to rise or sinks in the middle. Annie’s collection includes everything from brownies to cheesecakes to cookies, bars, meringues and every kind of cake imaginable. Each page is more beautiful than the last, and you’ll quickly find yourself lost in a dreamy world of sugar and flour. Whether a beginner or an experienced baker, this book is a great addition to your kitchen library, placing inspiration within arm’s reach.
Let’s get baking with Annie’s Coffee Walnut Loaf Cake.
COFFEE WALNUT LOAF
a recipe from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible
(makes 1 x 9 – inch loaf)
For the cake:
- 1¾ cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 large eggs, separated
- ¼ cup strong black coffee, cold
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2⁄3 cup chopped walnuts
For the coffee cream
- ½ cup mascarpone
- 2 teaspoons strong black coffee, cold
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the icing:
- 100g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1–2 tablespoons strong black coffee, cold
- 9-inch nonstick loaf pan
- electric mixer
- wire rack
- offset spatula
- unsalted butter for greasing
- 6–8 walnut halves for decorating
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375°F (or 325°F for a convection oven), and butter a 9-inch nonstick loaf pan. Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, the egg yolks, coffee, and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl using an electric mixer and fold into the mixture in two batches.
Stir in the walnuts and transfer the mixture to the loaf pan, smoothing the surface. Give the pan several sharp taps on the work surface to bring up any large air bubbles. Bake for 50–55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a wire rack. Place it the right way up and leave to cool. If not icing it right away, wrap it in plastic wrap.
To make the coffee cream, spoon the mascarpone into a bowl and beat in the coffee, then the corn syrup and confectioners’ sugar. Slit the cake in half, about two-thirds of the way up the sides to account for the risen dome. Spread the cream over the lower half and sandwich with the top.
To make the icing, blend the confectioners’ sugar and coffee together in a bowl and drizzle down the center of the cake, smoothing it toward the sides using a offset spatula. Don’t worry about completely covering the surface or about it trickling down the sides. Decorate the surface with the walnut halves and then dust with a little confectioners’ sugar. Leave to set for 1 hour.
TIP : Growing up as a child, coffee cakes were made with a dash of strong instant. Now that so many of us can make espresso at home, more so than ever since the advent of Nespresso machines and pods, we also have the potential for a really high-quality coffee flavoring.
Excerpted from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible, Copyright © 2013 by Kyle Books. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Cover design by Rashna Mody Clark. Photography by Con Poulos.