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Coffee and walnut cake
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This light sponge is laced with coffee and chopped walnuts and decorated with a sumptuous buttercream and a sprinkling of nuts. Serve with a full-bodied tea such as Fortnum’s Assam Superb Tea; its smooth malty flavour is a perfect match for this rich cake. Store in an airtight container for up to three days in a cool place.

Coffee and walnut cake
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Grease and base-line two 20cm. cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, adding a spoonful of flour if the mixture looks as if it is about to curdle.

Fold in the remaining flour, the baking powder, walnuts and coffee essence, using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden and just firm to the touch.

Remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

Whisk together the butter and half the icing sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add the remaining icing sugar, coffee essence and milk and continue to whisk until light and fluffy.

Remove the greaseproof paper from the cakes and put one half on a plate and spread over about half of the coffee buttercream. Put the other cake half on top and spread the remaining buttercream evenly over it. Sprinkle the nuts around the edge, then slice and serve.

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