The classic combination may be coffee and walnut, but this luscious offering deserves to be a new classic. Give it a try and see if you agree.
Makes: 12 good sized slices
Time: Around 90 minutes + waiting and chilling time
Level: Quite easy
Equipment: 2 x 20cm/8” loose bottomed cake tins
For the cake
- 225g/8oz S.R. Flour
- 1.25 tsp baking powder
- 75g/2.5oz ground almonds
- 200g/7oz unsalted butter
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- 2 – 3 tsp good quality instant coffee in 30ml hot water (then cooled)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 75g/2.5oz flaked almonds
For the filling & Topping
- 300g/10oz full fat cream cheese*
- 200g/7oz icing sugar*
- 125ml/4.5fl oz double cream
- 1 tsp coffee extract or 2 tsp good quality instant coffee ground finely
- Additionally – 100g/3.5oz melted white chocolate
*The above ratio of cream cheese to icing sugar may make a rather runny mixture, but I don’t like lots of icing sugar, so I often add melted white chocolate to thicken the mixture. You may prefer other methods of making a thicker mixture.
For the almond crumble or brittle
- 100g/3.5oz toasted flaked almonds
- 100g/3.5oz golden caster sugar
- 50g/1.75oz butter
1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the ground almonds then mix lightly. Turn oven on to 180C / Fan 160C / 350F / Gas 4.
2. In another bowl, beat the butter on its own for a few minutes, then add the sugar and continue beating until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter & sugar mixture, while beating. (Add small amounts of the weighed flour along the way to avoid curdling) Stir in the coffee mixture.
4. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Continue mixing to fully incorporate.
5. Add in the flour/ground almond mixture in 2 – 3 stages. Fold in until fully mixed. (If it’s very thick you could add in a small amount of milk)
6. Stir in the flaked almonds.
7. Spoon the mixture equally into the two prepared tins. Level the surfaces and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
8. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
9. While they’re cooling make the filling and topping. Lightly whip the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Melt the white chocolate using a bain marie.
10. Sieve the icing sugar into the cream cheese and beat them both together. Add the cream and the coffee extract or coffee powder and continue beating. Add in the melted white chocolate. Mix well.
11. Spread an even layer of the filling on one cake to layer them then cover the top and sides with a crumb coating. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
12. Meanwhile make the almond brittle. Line a baking tray with parchment and spread the almonds over it in a thin, even layer. Put the sugar, butter and around 50ml/2fl oz water into a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for about 5 mins, or until it starts to turn light golden brown. Some patches will start to caramelise faster than others, so give the pan an occasional gentle swirl rather than stirring the mixture. Carefully tip the caramel over the nuts and leave to cool completely. (It may be necessary to give it a short time in the freezer)
13. Use most of the remaining topping mixture to cover the top and sides of the cake, keeping some back to pipe rosettes etc. on top, then either blitz the brittle and use it to cover the cake or break it into shards and use them to decorate the top and/or sides of the cake.