When I was a little 'un, I ate only ham and cheese for the first three years of my life. True story. I was a right fussy one. Ask my long-suffering parents.
One thing I've only (embarrassingly) developed a taste for recently is coffee. Still fussy about that mind. Monmouth Coffee is where its at. But this dislike of coffee for the first 25 years of my life meant I missed out on Mum's Coffee and Walnut Cake, even though in theory, being a sweet item, I should have been all over it, so to speak. I've since discovered the joys of this truely '80s, retro cake. Immediately, upon thinking of coffee cake, with that dash of instant coffee to flavour, Rubik's Cube, Duran Duran, the perm, shoulder pads, Dynasty, Pac-Man and leg warmers instantly spring to mind.
This recipe has been adapted from Delia's Complete Cookery Course (published 1982) and Nigel Slater's Coffee and Walnut Cake. I've made them into little cupcakes.
Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
110g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
110g butter at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
50g finely chopped walnuts
1tbsp instant coffee powder mixed with 1 dessertspoon of hot water
And for the frosting...
100g butter, at room temperature
200g icing sugar
2 tsps of instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
walnut halves to decorate
Set the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases
1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl
2. Add the eggs, caster sugar and butter and whisk with an electric hand whisk, until you have a smooth mixture and all the ingredients are nicely combines
3. Add the walnuts and coffee mixture and whisk again
4. Divide the mixture into each case- roughly a heaped teaspoon and a half into each case
5. At this stage, you could run a teaspoon under a hot tap, shake off the excess water and using the back of the spoon, smooth out the mixture in each cupcake to ensure more even rising in the oven
6. Pop in the oven for 18-20 minutes
7. They'll be ready when they are golden brown in colour and springy to touch
8. Allow the cakes to cool and meanwhile, for the buttercream frosting, pop the butter in a large bowl and using the electric whisk gradually add the icing sugar until the buttercream is all smooth looking
9. Add the coffee mixture and whisk once again
10. Using roughly one heaped teaspoon of frosting, smooth onto each cupcake
11. Add a walnut half, or quarter to each cupcake to decorate
One other idea to decorate would be to use those little Coffee Chocolate Beans you can get in the supermarket.