Sweet Treats – Coffee Walnut Streusel Cake
When you no longer have any instant coffee in the house, a sudden yearning for an old-fashioned coffee and walnut cake can be difficult to satisfy. Invariably, a recipe asks for up to a tablespoon of coffee powder in a standard cake mix – to get the same result, I could make a strong espresso but then too much liquid in the mixture would alter the texture wouldn’t it?
So I tried it.
Now, the results are definitely not the same when using an espresso shot. For one thing, the flavour of the cake is actually milder. The addition of both brown sugar and sour cream makes it less sweet as well, giving a more caramel flavour.
Also, I nixed a coffee flavoured butter icing and instead added more walnuts into the equation with a great streusel topping. This is what makes up for the extra liquid in the mixture – I swear it somehow soaks up the excess and gives a wonderfully moist and light result.
So – if you still use instant coffee, go for it and enjoy the results, but don’t despair if you use espresso coffee. This is a wonderful cake and great for morning tea. With the Melbourne Cup and breast cancer morning teas happening around the country over the next couple of weeks, this could be a great retro favourite at work, brought right up to date.
Makes a 20cm round or square cake, enough for 8-10 people
125g butter, diced into small pieces; 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar; 3 eggs, lightly beaten; ¾ cup self-raising flour; ¼ cup plain flour; ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream; ¼ cup (60ml) strong espresso coffee OR 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water; 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
Streusel topping: ¼ cup plain flour, sifted; ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; 60g butter, diced into small pieces; ¼ cup shredded coconut; 50g walnuts, extra, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round or square cake tin. (A large loaf tin also works well)
Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in sifted flours, sour cream and coffee. Stir through 50 g of roughly chopped walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Make a small indentation in the centre of the tin to allow for a more even rising of the cake.
Streusel Topping: Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. The mixture will clump together quite easily.
Sprinkle the streusel topping in an even layer over the cake and press it down gently into the batter. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
$7.10 for a 20cm round cake