Baking and writing seem to go so well together, as does eating cake and writing! All of that measuring, sifting and mixing is very soothing. It seems to be the perfect antidote to winding down after doing a stint of writing. It coaxes your mind gently away from your story and back into the real world.
I have to confess to eating cake every day, usually in the afternoon with a cup of tea. A few years ago, when I first became wheat intolerant, my cake eating became more difficult. Now, thanks to much more awareness, most tea rooms serve a form of gluten/wheat free cake and the gluten free flours for baking at home are much improved too. I particularly love making cakes for other people to share and a couple of weeks ago I made this cake for my eldest son's birthday. My daughter is dairy intolerant (that is still a problem when eating out) so this cake is not just wheat free but dairy free too. This recipe is an adaptation of Delia Smith's all in one sponge and I think it tastes just as good as a cake made with butter. If you try it, I hope you agree.
Coffee and Walnut Cake
4oz self-raising flour (I use Dove's Farm)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
4oz soft margarine (Pure sunflower or soya spread)
4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 drops vanilla essence
2oz finely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. instant coffee mixed with 1 dessertspoon hot water
For the icing;
2oz soya/sunflower spread (at room temperature so it doesn't split)
3oz icing sugar sifted
2tsp instant coffee dissolved in a very small amount of hot water.
Grease and line two 18cm (7") sponge tins. Pre-heat oven to gas mark 3, 325F (170C)
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, holding sieve high to air the flour. Add remaining ingredients and whisk with an electric whisk until combined. The mixture should be soft and drop off a wooden spoon when lightly tapped. Gluten free flour tends to absorb more liquid so you may need to add a few teaspoons of warm water here and then whisk again until you get the right consistency.
Divide mixture between tins and bake on centre shelf o the oven for about 30 minutes. When cooked leave in the tin for about 30 seconds before turning on to a wire rack to cool. Sandwich with butter cream. If you want butter cream on the top of the cake as well just double the quantity of icing ingredients but I prefer just to fill the middle. Then finally decorate with walnuts, sift with icing sugar and enjoy! Enjoy whatever you are doing this week and thank-you for reading.