Walnut and coffee gateau

For someone who likes baking so much, the amount of baked goods I don’t like to eat is alarmingly high. In my  post about mini!donuts I already expressed my dislike for anything that has to do with sweet puff pastry. During my recent trip to Sweden I also had to confess to my friends that I do not like chocolate mousse (though maybe in that case I’m just a bit squicked by the idea of eating raw eggs). Another thing I don’t really do is nuts.

Don’t get me wrong! There are certain types of nuts that I do enjoy eating. I like peanuts and pistachios – and it’s always really hard for me to resist some of those salted cashews. But that’s the thing: I prefer my nuts to be savory/salty. The only exceptions here (because of course there would be exceptions where I’m concerned) is peanut butter and chocolate – a match made in heaven. And when I’m eating a really yummy carrot cake with nuts I don’t mind so much either. In most other cases, however, I’m not a fan.

You know who is a fan, though? My mom. My mother loves nuts, loves loves loves them. So when I saw this recipe in the spring 2012 issue of the BBC Baking (good food home cooking series) magazine we picked up in Scotland I just knew I had to make it for her – and because Mother’s day was just around the corner, I figured this would be the perfect time to try it out!

Now the thing is – besides the nuts this gateau also has coffee. Another one of those things that I hate, and the rest of my family (or, you know, the rest of the world) loves. I hope I’m not scaring anyone of though: if you like walnuts and coffee I’m pretty sure this will be the thing for you. My family, friends and neighbors loved it, and my next door neighbor requested I make it for her again for her granddaughter’s christening party.

Ingredients for the sponge

4 eggs
175 grams of sugar
100 grams of flour
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
140 grams of finely chopped walnuts


01. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
02. Grease and line 3 round cake tins (diameter: 20cm). For this one I used two larger cake tins but since then I’ve also made the smaller version and it’s a lot cuter XD
03. Whisk together the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until light and thick (like semi-whipped cream!)
04. Gently fold in (with a spatula) the flour. Then fold in the oil, and lastly fold in the chopped nuts.
05. Divide the batter equally in the three cake tins. (Only have one? Bake in three batches!)
06. Bake for 10/15 minutes but keep an eye out – it’s not a very big cake so it might need a little less.
07. Let it cool before assembling!

Ingredients for the cream filling

300 ml of cream (35% fat or more)
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract


Whip all the ingredients with electric mixer until you’ve got a fluffy whipped cream!

Ingredients for the butter cream

140 grams of good quality butter (softened, at room temperature)
300 grams of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of coffee essence or instant coffee


Beat the butter with half the sugar until smooth, then add the rest of the sugar, the milk and coffee essence or instant coffee. (I dissolved the instant coffee in the milk first.) Beat until everything is combined and smooth.

Assemble time!

Lay out one of your cakes and cover with 1/3rd of the cream, make sure it’s level before placing the second cake on top, repeat! Fill in the holes at the sides so you get a smooth even side. (Put aside the last 1/3rd of the cream) Next put the butter cream on top of the cake and smooth it out, put it on the sides as well and use a knife to make it as smooth as possible.

Take another 150 grams of walnuts and chop them up, make sure some are pretty fine and others are a bit rougher – to create some nice effects. Cover the butter cream with the nuts and slightly press down to make sure they stick.

Take a patisserie bag with a star-nozzle and use the last third of the cream to make eight cream dots on the top of the cake, finish with half-walnuts on top!


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