My obsession with coffee & walnut cake began many moons ago. Before I liked coffee. Or walnuts. Family holidays at the dreamy Driftwood hotel on the Cornish coast involved a daily tea and cake ritual. Every day, mid-afternoon, after blowy walks, we nestled down into armchairs and sofas, settled into a game of Scrabble or a good book, and were offered the two cakes of the day.
Baked and delivered by the WI, these cakes were the perfect British afternoon tea. Choices didn't vary often. Thankfully. It was a sad day when I had to opt for Victoria Sponge over coffee & walnut. I may have a large soft spot for buttercream which always swayed my decision. That hasn't changed.
(I also fell in love with Buffy the dog in the neckerchief here. He was the best dog I've ever met. I sincerely hope he's still around. He made tea even better.)
I hadn't ever dared bake a coffee & walnut cake since then. I was too scared of ruining my dreams of the perfect sponge. But I think I've left it enough years now. Also B claimed to not be a like this cake, so I had to convert him.
The trusty Leith's Baking Bible made a reappearance, doing itself justice again. Spongey sponge, light buttercream, sweet icing. Although I ignored the coffee essence ingredient and did it with proper, proper coffee - courtesy of Pact. My coffee purism goes as far as cake it seems. It was worth it though, making the most traditional, and one of the most delicious cakes of recent years. Memories of afternoon at the Driftwood came flooding back. Happy memories.