Sunday Magazine Recipe: Espresso and Hazelnut Cake

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What's better than coffee and cake? Coffee cake! Use any nuts you like, and add chocolate to create a richer cake if desired. If you don't want to use real espresso, you can make a very strong cup of instant coffee instead.

This recipe uses hazelnuts, but you can swap them for any kind of nuts you prefer.

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake

Serves 12

150g butter, softened
150g light muscovado sugar or soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
100g ground almonds
100g spelt or regular flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
½ cup strong espresso, cooled
½ cup sour cream
150g roasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts 

Espresso cream cheese icing
150g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
100g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp strong espresso 

To decorate
Handful roasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts 

Preheat the oven to 170C fan bake. Line a 22cm tin with baking paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the ground almonds until just combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Finally, fold through the espresso and sour cream followed by the hazelnuts. 

Spoon the batter into the tin and spread out to the sides. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter by itself until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat on high until seriously light and fluffy. Gradually add the cream cheese, followed by the vanilla. The icing should be smooth, creamy and thick. Finally, fold through the espresso.

Once the cake is completely cool, neatly ice the top of it and scatter with some chopped roasted hazelnuts. 

Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Photos: James K Lowe

RecipesJordan Rondel