250g caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 table spoons of camp coffee essence (or cooled strong filter coffee)
120g chopped walnuts and a few extra walnut halves to decorate
200 g softened butter
400g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
*Or if you prefer 2 teaspoons of mixed spice.
The above spice quantities can be adjusted dependant on how spiced you would like the butter cream.
Required: 2 x 8 inch deep sandwich tins, greaseproof paper, little extra margarine, bowl, spatula, wooden spoon, sieve.
• Pre heat the oven to Gas mark 4 / 180c (fan) / 160c (gas). With a little margarine coat the sandwich tins and line with greaseproof paper.
• Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, when they are well combined the colour should be pale.
• Add the baking powder and the coffee essence and mix until well combined.
• Add one egg and beat into the mixture, once well combines, sift in 1/5th of the flour and combine. Repeat this process until all the eggs and the flour are combines.
• Now fold in the walnut pieces. (I like to use a spatula for this and large figures of 8 movement, as this divides the mixture and creates folds, this is where the air pockets are created and allows your sponge to be light and airy.
• Place your mixture into your greased and lined sandwich tins and place into the middle of your oven.
• Bake for about 25-30 minutes; or until the centres are springy to the touch.
Removing your cakes too early or by varying the temperature of the oven too much due to repeated opening and closing of the open door will cause your cake to sink in the middle.
• Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cook in the tins on wire racks.
• Once the cakes are cool enough to handle, turn them out of their tins and leave to completely cool on the wire racks. Remember to remove all of the greaseproof paper.
• Once your cake has cooled, it is now time to make the butter cream.
• Take your softened butter, and beat together with your icing sugar and mixed spices to a smooth consistency.
If the mixture is no spreadable you can loosen it up by adding a small dash of milk – Remember add a little at a time or you will end up with a butter cream that will soak into the cake as it is too runny.
How you choose to assemble your cake if down to you, you can either smooth the butter cream on with a palette knife, or you can place your butter cream into a piping bag with nozzle and pipe on your butter cream, garnishing with the remaining halved walnuts.