Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Coffee and Walnut Cake

Hello lovelies! Two  months ago at the Carmarthen Vegan gathering at the Waverley cafe I had my first slice of coffee and walnut cake.  It was love at first bite for me. I was like Where have you been all my life??? as I scraped my plate clean and vowed to go home and make one for us.

Now, here's the thing. I love coffee. Well, to be more specific, I love coffee flavoured things. Coffee ice cream? Check. Coffee flavoured cake? You betcha. Actual coffee? No thank you.

You see, I am EXTREMELY sensitive to caffeine. I once had an espresso and thought I was having a heart attack. Then I when I realised it was just the effects of caffeine that were making my heart pound on my rib cage like an armed policemen, I went to visit Spiderman at work and walked around his desk at high speed 247 times. He counted.

I was like this:

So i am only allowed decaf now.

To be fair, I can't stand black coffee. It needs to be sweet. That's why coffee flavoured cake and ice cream are so good.

I had some walnuts left over from last week' delicious meal and so i decided to try out a coffee and walnut cake using decaf.

Coffee and Walnut Cake
Don't freak out about the vinegar--it makes egg free cakes (especially gluten free egg free cakes) rise sky high.

Also, you need to make your coffee in advance. You need one cup for the cake and a few TB for the icing. The night before I add 2 heaping TB of instant decaf  coffee crystals to a jar and add 1 1/4 cups boiling water. When cooled, I pop in the fridge for the cake the next day. If you drink coffee, just make extra and save some back.

You need:
1/4 cup applesauce or plain soya yogurt I used to use yogurt, but now I swear by applesauce as it comes in a jar not a plastic container)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup cold coffee
1 cup demerara sugar (or do what I do--use half a cup Tate and Lyle sugar with stevia) 
note: you can totally just use half a cup of oil, but I like to replace half the fat in my cakes. they still taste great, just less fat.

1 3/4 cup plus 1TB flour (if using gluten free flour, add 1 tsp xanthan gum if not already in your flour blend)
1 TB custard powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking SODA --not baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt

right before it goes in the oven:
half a cup of finely chopped walnuts
2 TB apple cider vinegar

1.Preheat your oven to 190C/375F and grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl blend the oil and the applesauce. I like to use my immersion (stick) blender to puree this up smooth. Then add the coffee and the sugar and beat with a fork
3. Sift the dry ingredients straight into the bowl over the liquid. Mix with a fork until combined.
4. Spoon into your cake pan and fold in the walnuts then add the 2 TB vinegar and stir. Pale swirls will appear--this is normal. Get it mixed in and then quickly pop it in the oven. The vinegar reacts with the bicarb and makes the cake rise high and makes it tender.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes--27 minutes is what I always do.
6. remove from oven, let cool.
7. Ice your cake.

1 cup plus 1 TB sifted icing sugar
whole walnuts for decoration

Add your coffee a spoonful at a time and beat with a fork until all the sugar is no longer dry and a thick glaze has formed. Use as little coffee as you can to create this effect. Spread it on the top and slice into 8 rectangular slices and top each slice with a walnut.

This cake is delicious. We've had it twice. It is my favourite cake of the moment.

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