Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Coffee, Walnut and Chocolate Chip Cake

I've had a high proportion of baking failures recently, as well as cakes I wasn't entirely happy with. I think I've pinned it down to changing to a discount supermarket brand of baking powder, as all the bakes using my usual brand of SR flour have been fine, but those using plain flour and baking powder have been more problematic, although not all have been failures, oddly!

Anyway, to avoid another failure, as I was trying out a base recipe for a cake to take to a Clandestine Cake Club meeting in early March, I used SR flour in this cake. I used a cake batter with a slightly higher proportion of flour than a sponge cake - more like a Madeira Cake - and included some ground almonds for moistness and a little cornflour for a more tender crumb.

225g SR flour
25g cornflour
50g ground almonds
250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons instant coffee, dissolved in 3 tablespoons milk
100g chopped walnuts
100g plain chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan). Prepare a 20cm (8") round cake tin.
Sift flours together, then mix in the ground almonds.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the measured flour mixture, each time.
Fold in the rest of the flour and the coffee-flavoured milk. When the batter is well mixed, fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate.
Transfer the batter to the baking tin, smooth the top, then bake for around 65 minutes, until a test probe comes out clean and dry.
Cool the cake in the tin for 20 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

This cake tasted exactly as you'd expect - coffee and walnut with the added bonus of chocolate chips. The crumb was moist and tender, with a close texture. The batter recipe looks good enough to use for my CCC cake next week, which was my main purpose in making this cake; it will have different 'add-ins' obviously, but that will be revealed in the future. Meanwhile, I'm out to buy some better baking powder!


belleau kitchen said...

well this cake looks good to me! They say that both SR flour and Baking Powder go stale very quickly... literally the moment they're opened they should be used but this is not possible. I've taken to buying sachets of BP to avoid this and I keep my SR flour in its own tuppaware container.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

That's exactly the sort of classic cake I love and it's even better with a little chocolate. I tend to be a bit paranoid about baking powder and flours and I always try to buy the same brands. Interesting that Dom said that he buys BP in sachets. When I was in France I found that you could only buy BP in sachets and the reason seemed to be that the accepted wisdom was that it didn't store well.

Snowy said...

I've had a couple of baking failures recently too, Suelle. Have bought new baking powder as the flour was almost new. Your cake looks good, but I love anything with walnuts and coffee.

Suelle said...

I bought new baking powder after the first failure, but from the same supermarket. I've now gone back to a brand name, but haven't tried it yet. Sachets seem a good idea for occasional use - I've noticed them about more recently.