Friday, 22 June 2012

Hokey Pokey coffee cake

Two things happened last week: I got Mary Berry's book ' 100 Cakes and Bakes' and it was my friend Rachel's birthday. You know where this is going: I baked a cake.
After licking all pictures in the book perusing the book for what felt like ages (and drooling profusely) I chose to make a Hokey Pokey coffee cake. First of all, Mary's description was more than enticing: A special cake from New Zealand (hey! I used to live there! Ah, memories...). Coffee and walnuts have a natural affinity and make a delicious cake (well, if you say so, Mary). The addition of walnut praline makes this extra special (waaaait a minute - walnut praline? You mean: crunchy, sweet, caramel walnuts? Sold!)
Secondly, I knew Rachel was partial to coffee and walnuts. I gathered all ingredients and the baking commenced.

Recipe (adapted from '100 Cakes and Bakes' by Mary Berry)

For the cake:
225 g softened cubed butter
225 g caster sugar (next time I might try adding brown sugar to see if the cake turns out more caramelly (technical term!)
4 large eggs
225 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
50 g walnuts, chopped

For the praline:
2 tbsp water
50 g caster sugar
50 g walnuts

For the icing:
90 g softened butter
250 g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp hot water

You'll need two shallow sandwich tins - Mary recommends 20 cm in diameter and 4cm deep loose based tins. I used two 20cm tins without removable bottom and lined them up with baking parchment using a method I spotted at Miss Igs blog and I'm happy to report it worked a treat!

Start by preheating the oven to 160 C/140 C fan.
Grease the tins and line with baking parchment.

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer for 5 minutes until pale.

Add eggs one by one beating the mix in between to make sure all eggs are incorporated.

Mary's method for the cake involves putting all the ingredients together and mixing them, but I was a bit scared to go for it, hence the step by step method.

Add your coffee flavouring. And yes, you guessed it. Beat some more.

Now let's take a tiny break from baking. Check out these 4 pictures.

That unidentified blurry object in the middle? Why yes, this is a teaspoon of baking powder. My lens had a mind of its own and decided that it's the background that should be in focus. Sigh.

After another 10 attempts: voila! A tsp of baking powder.

Mix it with self raising flour.

Chop some walnuts and add to the mix.

Once all ingredients are incorporated divide them evenly between two tins

 and bake until golden for 30-35 minutes. Once they are ready leave them to cool.

While the cake is baking make the praline. Get the walnut halves ready. Line a small baking tray with greased baking paper and set aside.

Gently heat sugar and water in a small pan. Once it starts bubbling watch the pan closely. Try not to stir the mixture too much.

Once it starts turning golden brown take off the heat, add walnuts, mix to coat and transfer to the greased parchment you prepare earlier.

Leave to cool completely, then break into smaller pieces. Leave the nicest ones to decorate the cake and chop the rest finely. Set aside.

Now make the buttercream icing. Place butter and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and add the coffee mix. Now use a clean tea towel and place it over your bowl and mixer - unless of course you want half of your kitchen covered in sugar! Beat the icing until smooth.

Now assemble the cake: place one half on the serving plate, cover with some buttercream and sprinkle with chopped praline pieces you set aside earlier.

Place the second cake half on top, spread the remaining buttercream icing and decorate with walnut praline.



  1. I've never tried this cake but it looks delicious! thanks for sharing :)

  2. Ummm wow talk about delicious looking! I really want to try this soon.

  3. thanks for your sweet comments ladies!


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