Coffee, for most is what carries us through the day, living from cup to cup a day. I am a coffee and cake enthusiast, thus this recipe is the very best of both worlds. The recipe I gave a go, is one of Nigella Lawson’s and quite frankly stirs up a recollection of a memory. I lived in Centurion, Gauteng for almost 8 years and when it was time to leave and come back home to Cape Town, a long lost friend baked these indulgent coffee cupcakes with the lightest crumb and the most fluffy frosting I just could not compare to any other cake I’ve had. This of course was on the last day that I had bid farewell to a few good friends that I have gathered along the early years of studying a law degree.
The baking of the coffee and walnut cake was something of a therapeutic experience. When stressed or life gets a tad overwhelming, I find the best solution is to find the peace I am looking for and that is in my kitchen, my place of refuge.
This time I stuck to the recipe, with the only addition being the coffee and walnut praline. When baking I don’t stray too far from the original recipe. Measurements are definitely there for a reason, I’ve learnt that the hard way from one too many flop bakes.
For the praline I melted 220grams of caster sugar in a non stick pan over a medium to high heat, swirling to fully incorporate. Once caramel brown, take off the heat and pour over coffee beans and chopped walnuts (preferably on a silpat) or on a greased and lined tray, leave to cool completely, then snap and arrange on the cake once the frosting is on. The praline provides height to the aesthetic of the cake and texture to the taste.
These are truly wise words below, from a legend. Can you imagine a world without cake? Let alone a party?
“A Party without cake is just a meeting” – Julia Child.