Despite my ailing back, I was determined to bake Todd a cake for the weekend. He does love a special treat at the weekend and I do like to spoil him.  Normally it is a Victoria Sponge or some such. This week I decided to really bake him a treat.
I adapted this recipe from The Women's Institute cookery book entitled, Vintage Tea Time by Jessica Simmons.  It is a lovely little book composed of WI approved Afternoon Tea appropriate recipes.

You just know that if a recipe has the Women's Institute seal of approval, it has to be good! 

The Women's Institute was formed in 1915 with the aim of revitalising rural communities and encouraging women to become more pro-active in producing food during the First World War. Since then their aim has broadened and it is now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK.
It is also known to be a leading authority on home cooking and plays a unique role in providing women all over the country with educational opportunities, along with the change to build new skills, take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that are important to them and their communities.
They also run a the WI Cookery School in Denman College, Oxfordshire, providing a whole range of courses designed to suit students of all abilities and interests.
I had a quick gander through the book this morning and settled on the Coffee Cake, as I thought it one that Todd would enjoy, and it didn't involve a whole lot of faffing about!
In North America Coffee Cakes are usually quite dense and meant to be enjoyed for breakfast or brunch with hot mugs of coffee.  This is not that kind of coffee cake.

Instead this is a light and airy cake, which derives its name from the use of strong coffee to flavour both the batter and the butter cream.
You can also use coffee essence/extract if you have it.  We don't drink regular black or green tea or coffee for religious reasons, but I do have coffee extract to use in baking.
The cake is filled with a lush butter cream frosting, also flavoured with coffee and abundantly filled with chopped walnuts.
I always toast my nuts before I use them.  They just taste nuttier!  Toasting really enhances their natural flavours.
It only takes a few minutes in a hot oven to do the trick.  The top of the cake is garnished with a dusting icing sugar.
If you wish to mark out the servings you can very cleverly lay a grid on the top using wooden or metal skewers. Its also very pretty.
At the head of each wedge pipe a rosette of the plain butter cream (or dollop it on) and top with a single toasted walnut. Very pretty!
Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner Print
With ImageWithout Image Coffee Cake prep time: cook time: total time: Not a Coffee Cake in the American sense, but a delicious Coffee flavoured cake with a coffee walnut filling and garnish.  Moist and delicious! ingredients: For the Cake: 175g butter, softened (3/4 cup) 175g soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup packed, plus 1/2 TBS) 1 TBS strong coffee, or a few drops coffee essence 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten 175g self raising flour (1  1/4 cups) 1 tsp baking powder For the Butter Cream: 110 butter, softened (1/2 cup) 225g icing sugar, sifted (1 3/4 cup) 2 TBS strong coffee, or 1 tsp coffee essence 80g toasted walnuts, finely chopped (2/3 cup) To Decorate: icing sugar to dust 8 toasted walnut halves instructions: How to cook Coffee Cake Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter two 8-inch round cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside. Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside. Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the coffee and then the beaten eggs a bit at a time until well incorporated. If the mixture starts to curdle, beat in a TBS of the flour, and continue. Fold in the flour.  Divide the batter equally amongst the prepared baking tins, levelling it off. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to finish cooling. Beat the butter for the icing until soft and creamy.  Beat in the sugar and the coffee, only adding as much coffee as needed to give you a thick spreadable/pipeable icing.  Remove about  4 TBS of icing and set aside.  Stir the chopped walnuts into the remainder of the icing. Place one cake layer on a serving plate.  Spread the walnut icing over to cover. (It will be a nice thick layer)  Top with the other cake layer.  Lay 4 skewers on top in a criss cross manner. Sift icing sugar over top and then carefully remove the skewers. You should have the cake marked now into 8 servings. Into each serving section,  pipe a rosette of the plain coffee icing and top with a toasted walnut half.  Store any remainders in a covered container.
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I think you are really going to love this cake. Its incredibly delicious!  Happy Saturday!
#Baking #Teatime #Cakes
EnglishKitchen Baking Teatime Cakes

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