Tag Archives: coffee

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake

I made this cake back in November and I am sorry to say that it totally slipped my mind!  That is not to say that it’s not good.  I’m particularly proud of the Kalhua buttercream.  But life got in the way, as in inevitably does!  I’m going to try to have a bit of a catch up around these parts and get the drafts I’ve got littering the place behind the scenes sorted out.

Three Layer Coffee and Walnut Cake with Kahlua Buttercream

I was attending a Clandestine Cake Club event and the theme was Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  I knew how I wanted to decorate my cake, with the teaparty itself, but what to bake for the cake inside? Then it hit me!  What’s madder than a coffee cake at a tea party?  Well, probably something, but it seemed like a cute idea!

Mad Hatter's Tea Party - Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake with Kalhua Buttercream Icing

I love a coffee and walnut cake.  It is one of my absolute favourites but I hadn’t actually baked one myself.  I decided to go with a classic sponge cake and simply add walnuts and espresso into the mix.  It worked a treat!

I do have a confession though, when I first turned the cakes out of their tins I thought I’d had a complete cake failure and they were a disaster.  I thought they hadn’t risen enough so I started to whip up a new cake to salvage this disaster.  I stacked the layers up in order to clear the decks, which was when  realised.  The cake was perfectly tall enough, I had just forgotten that with 3 layers the individul layers would be much thinner!

Mad Hatter's Tea Party - Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake with Kalhua Buttercream Icing

Serves 12

150g butter
150g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp strong espresso
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp kalhua
500g ready to roll icing, 250g white, 250g coloured with paste colours as you like (You won’t use all of the icing up but I always find a use for icing)

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C an grease three sandwich tins. I use silicone ones because they make turning out the cake so much easier.
– Put the butter and sugar in a food processor  and blitz until it is smooth and fluffy.
– Add the eggs one at a time down the funnel with the motor running.
– Add in the vanilla and espresso and continue to mix well.
– Add the flour, baking powder and walnuts and process until the flour and baking powder are totally worked in.  There should still be come chunky walnut bits.
– Divide the mixture evenly between your three cake tins.
– Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Be careful to check them as they’re so thin.  If using more than one shelf in the oven it’s usually a good idea to switch them around half way through cooking so they bake more evenly.
– Remove from the oven and turn out to cook on wire racks.
– To make your buttercream mix the softened unsalted butter with the icing sugar and kalhua until smooth and creamy with no lumps left.
– To assemble your cake spread 1/3 of the buttercream on each of the layers as you stack it on your serving plate.
– Roll out the white icing into a circle and then drape this over the cake like a tablecloth.
– Use the remaining coloured icing to fashion teapots, teacups and plates.  I also used some other cake decorations to make ‘food’ for my teaparty.  One innovation I was particularly proud of was using popping candy for the tea in the teacups.  I knew that the moisture in the icing would dissolve the popping candy and leave a sticky tea coloured liquid behind.   Go nuts, use your imagination!

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Filed under Cakes, Easy

Frothy Milk

I love me some frothy milk.  I like it for my hot chocolate, for my latte, for… well, nope, just those things really.  But frothy milk makes them so much better than ordinary milk!  I used to have an Aerolatte, which was great, love that thing, however it currently resides in a box somewhere in the garage with the rest of my kitchen.  I also have a fancy coffee maker with a steam wand out there too.  However, currently I have neither of these things.  I have been frothy milk-less! 

However, salvation has arrived!  Here is a simple how to for making frothy milk with a jam jar and a microwave.  Sorted! 

(My mother has asked that I point out that Friday is kitchen cleaning day and it has been a hell of a week so any mess you see is the result of bad timing for me to do a quick photo shoot before doing my chores!  I would like to point out the irony of the fancy coffee maker sitting in the back of the shots.  Hasn’t been used in years, I think the instructions were written in Martian!)

Half fill a clean jam jar with milk. Put the lid on.

Shake the jar for about 30 seconds.

The bubbly milk should have doubled in volume.

Remove the lid and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute (depends how hot you want your milk).

Remove from the microwave.

 (I have to put in here that your milk will probably be a bit more bubbly than mine, mine had to sit for a bit here as there was a fight over the work surface while mum made a bacon sandwich!)

Put your coffee or hot chocolate in the mug. If making hot chocolate I like to mix the powder with a bit of milk first then give it 30 seconds in the microwave.

Pour the milk into the mug holding back the foam with a spoon.

Spoon the foam on to the top. Enjoy!


Filed under Drinks, Easy, Uncategorized

Banoffee Tiramisu Charlotte Recipe

This came about because I’d seen a picture of a Strawberry Charlotte and thought it looked cool.  I was also thinking of trying out a tiramisu recipe and I had bananas and dulche de leche that needed to be used up before I go on holiday.  So I combined them all!  I thought that it might be like the Summer Pudding, looks easy, really not, but it turned out to be very simple.  A little fiddly in places but other than that it was much better than I had hoped.  Then it came to whether or not it would actually have worked or not.  Would mixeing the three things be too much of a good thing or a delicious dessert invention?  I am very happy to announce that it is definitely the latter.  It looks impressive and tasted great too!

Banoffee Tiramisu Charlotte

Serves 8

1 pack of sponge fingers
250ml whipping cream
250g marscapone
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp Kahlua
1 can Carnation Caramel or Dulce de Leche
3 bananas
6 squares plain chocolate. 

For the syrup:
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp Kahlua

– Line a 7″ loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper. 
– Mix all of the syrup ingredients in a small bowl and set aside to cool.
– Whip the cream in a bowl. 
– Mix together the marscapone, vanilla, icing sugar and Kahlua in a large bowl. 
– Gradually add the whipped cream to this mix. 
– Carefully cut the very end off enough sponge fingers to line the cake tin so you have a straight edge. 
– Carefully place the sponge fingers around the circumference of the tin. 
– With the rest of your sponge fingers dip them in the syrup for 1 second and then line the bottom of the tin with them. 
– Spoon over half of your dulche de leche. 
– Place a layer of banana slices on top of that. 
– Spoon the cream over the bananas then smooth down with the back of a spoon. 
– Grate chocolate over the cream.
– Again dip and place the sponge fingers on top of the cream. 
– Add the rest of the dulche de leche. 
– More banana slices. 
– The rest of the cream. 
– Smooth down the cream with the back of the spoon and then grate chocolate over the top. 
– Place in the fridge overnight.   
– To remove from the tin find a small bowl or large glass that is taller than the cake tin.  Place the tin on top of this and gently push down on the ring being careful not to knock the fingers. 
– Pick up the base plate and use a pallate knife to gently slide the dessert on to the serving plate.  I say just leave the baking paper on the bottom and don’t tempt fate but if you’re feeling brave you can try to separate the paper and pudding in the same manoeuver.   
– Enjoy!

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Filed under Desserts, Moderately easy

Tiramisu Recipe

I actually only made two of these with leftovers from tomorrow’s dessert, which I will be posting tomorrow, so I’m making a rough guess at quantities for this.  I love Tiramisu, even though it took me a long time to come round to coffee as a flavour, now I’m a caffeine addict!  I do like to splash out on really good quality Amaretti, preferably from Italy, I think it makes a big difference. 


Makes 6

250ml whipping cream
250g marscapone
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp Kahlua
Approximately 60 Amaretti biscuits
6 squares plain chocolate. 

For the syrup:
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp Kahlua

– Whip the cream in a medium sized bowl. 
– In a small bowl combine all of the syrup ingredients and stir well until everything is dissolved. 
– In another bowl mix together the marscapone, vanilla, icing sugar, kahlua and 3 tbsp of the syrup. 
– Mix together the cream and marscapone mix a bit at a time until fully combined. 
– Dip each Amaretti in the syrup for a second and put in a layer at the bottom of your serving glass.  Pour 1 tsp of syrup over them. 
– Spoon the cream mixture on top and smooth down. 
– Grate the chocolate over the top of the cream. 
– Once again dip the biscuits and arrange on top of the cream then drizzle 1 tsp syrup on top.
– Cover with cream again and then grate chocolate over the top. 
– Chill for at least 3 hours. 
If you like serve with a strawberry half or a raspberry for a shot of colour. 


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Filed under Desserts, Easy