Hokey Pokey Coffee Cake

Inspired by New Zealand, this is a coffee and walnut cake with a twist. The extra moist cake sponge is topped with coffee buttercream and walnut praline.

Simple Cakes
From the book Simple Cakes
Mary Berry
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Introduction

A special cake from New Zealand. Coffee and walnuts have a natural affinity and make a delicious cake. The addition of walnut praline makes this extra special; save the best pieces to decorate the top of the cake, chop the remainder and add to the icing for the middle.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 55 min

Ingredients

225g (8oz) margarine, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
4 eggs
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tbsp instant coffee, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
75g (3oz) walnuts, chopped
For the walnut praline:
2 tbsp water
50g (2oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) walnut pieces
For the butter icing:
75g (3oz) butter, softened
250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted
1½ tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1½ tbsp hot water

Essential kit

You will need 2 loose-bottomed 20cm (8in) sandwich tins, 4cm (1½in) deep.

Instructions

Lightly grease the tins and line the bases with non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon.

Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and gently level the surface with the back of a spoon or a plastic spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes are well risen, golden and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tins. The tops of the cakes should spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then run a small palette knife or blunt knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them. Turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.

While the cakes are baking, you can make the praline. Put the water and caster sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook slowly until the sugar turns to a nut brown. Watch the pan like a hawk, as the sugar can burn quickly.

Off the heat, stir in the walnuts, then pour the mixture out on to non-stick baking parchment or an oiled baking tray and leave to cool completely. Roughly break up the cold, hard praline with your fingers. Save the best pieces for the top of the cake, then chop the remainder to add to the icing for the middle of the cake.

For the butter icing, put the butter, icing sugar and dissolved coffee into a small bowl and mix well until evenly blended.

Select the cake with the best top, then place the other cake top downwards on a serving plate. Spread with half the butter icing and add the chopped praline. Place the second cake on top (top upwards) and spread with the remaining butter icing. Use a small palette knife to spread the icing neatly, then decorate with the reserved walnut praline pieces.

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