Cocoa, Coffee & Walnut Swirl Cake

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I’m in a butter cake phase. I just can’t get enough of it. I think it might be a pregnancy craving. hehe But then, it isn’t a bad craving to have, is it? What could be better than soft and buttery cake? Absolutely nothing! Especially with a hot cuppa – perfect afternoon tea!

Nespresso SG Fortissio Lungo

I was lucky enough to be sent a tube of the new Nespresso flavour – Fortissio Lungo. It’s the first in the Lungo range with a strong intensity (8) and has a richer taste with fuller body. With notes of cereal, the beans are from Central-South America combined with the precious full Arabica Monsoon Malabar from India. I really wanted to make something with this new flavour, and all I can think of is in a form of a butter cake!

Cocoa, coffee & walnut swirl cake

And I love swirls in my cake! hehe It’s fun making them and also so pretty before and after being baked! So I decided a swirled butter came with cocoa, coffee and walnut! Mmmm (:

Cocoa, Coffee & Walnut Swirl Cake

250g self-raising flour, sifted

250g butter, room temperature

100g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

3-4 tsp espresso, cooled to room temperature (I used the Fortissio Lungo)

5 whole eggs, room temperature

1 tbs cocoa powder

140g walnut, roughly chopped and toasted

Ingredients

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Butter and line the base of a square baking tin and set aside.

2) In a standing mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar, cream till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat till well combined.

3) Add the espresso and slowly add the flour and chopped walnuts. Mix till all the flour is well combined, but careful not to over mix it.

4) Take half the mixture and place in a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder in and mix till well combined.

5) Alternately place the coffee mixture and the cocoa mixture into the baking tin.

Cocoa, coffee and walnut mixture

6) Using a knife, run through the mixture from left to right, then do the same after turning it 90 degrees clockwise. You should get beautiful swirls!

Swirled cake

7) Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted to the middle of the cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Make sure the cake is totally cooled before cutting, or it will crumble!

Cocoa, coffee and walnut swirled cake

This was a big hit in my family and the addition of the walnut made it yummier in my opinion! hehe (: Have a go and let me know what you think!

Remember to always cook and bake with love. Till the next post, xx

Fig, Walnut and Almond Biscotti

I’ve not had much biscotti, but I loved it every time I had the chance to have one. My most recent biscotti experience is at Hare & Grace, and I had it their creme brulee which was quite a different experience. But it did provide a crunch to the creamy, rich dessert, which by now you would know is a good thing for me! (: Plus I saw one of the foodies on tweeter make her own biscotti a while back, and have been wanting to make my own ever since!

I’m addicted to figs. When I went to Auckland in April, my aunt had a fig tree and I could just head down to the garden and pluck one or maybe 4 to have it when I was craving it. How awesome is that? hehe So of course, I made the Mr plant a fig tree in our garden hehe and hopefully we will get figs soon! *fingers crossed* So of course, when I was deciding on what I wanted in my biscotti, figs just came to my mind! Trust me, it was so difficult to resist popping one of those beautiful figs in my mouth, cause I needed every single one of them in the packet! haha But I’m so glad I did, cause the biscotti came out packed filled with figs, and it was super yums!

So I looked through my endless list of bookmarked recipes, and found a fig and walnut biscotti recipe by the super talented Brown Eyed Baker! And I knew her recipe would definitely be yummy cause she is Italian! Who would know how to make a better biscotti than an Italian herself? hehe I was really excited, and there wasn’t a better day to make it but Friday, especially when I’m off work early! hehe PERFECT!

Note : I really like this recipe because it doesn’t need butter, which means you can start making it as soon as you get home from work, without worrying if the butter is the right softness! hehe Also, you can switch the kind of dried fruit and nuts you want as well, so you can make it according to how you like it! A clear winner to me (:

Fig, Walnut & Almond Biscotti (adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)

1 3/4 cups plain flour

3/4 cups dark brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp fleur de sel (you can replace this with coarse salt)

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tbs orange zest (I used a navel orange)

375g dried figs, cut into quarters

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or baking paper and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, mix the flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, fluer de sel until well combined. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until they become thick and pale yellow. Then add the orange zest and vanilla paste and mix it well.

3) Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Then mix in the dried figs and nuts.

4) Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and divide it into two. With floured hands, shape it into logs, about 2 1/2 inches wide and 8-10 inches long. Place the logs onto the prepared Silpat/baking paper.

5) Place in the oven and bake until the dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the logs onto a wire rack and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Do not rush to cut the logs, especially when they are still warm, as they will crumble and break apart! Reduce the oven to 150 degrees celcius.

6) Once the logs are cooled, cut them into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices on the Silpat and bake for 7 minutes on each side. Transfer the slices onto the wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container and ENJOY! (:

ps : I was lucky enough to have a bottle of this in my pantry, but I’m sure using normal sea salt would do the job as well! (: