CAKE IN THE HOUSE

A clas­sic combo but in minia­ture, th­ese lit­tle loaf cakes are ideal for a pic­nic or lunch­box, or make a sweet gift

The Simple Things - - PLAYLIST - Recipe from Soul­ful Baker by Julie Jones (Jac­qui Small), pub­lished on 27 Septem­ber. Pho­tog­ra­phy: Lisa Lin­der

COF­FEE & WAL­NUT MINI LOAF CAKES Makes 8

90g wal­nuts, toasted and chopped 150g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for greas­ing 150g caster sugar 1 tbsp in­stant cof­fee gran­ules 100ml milk 150g eggs (weight once shelled) 150g self-rais­ing flour 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der for the ic­ings 2 tsp in­stant cof­fee gran­ules 200g fon­dant ic­ing sugar 2 tsp co­coa pow­der (op­tional) for the dec­o­ra­tions ( op­tional) Choco­late flow­ers Toasted wal­nuts, crushed you will need In­di­vid­ual loaf tins, ap­prox 10x7x4cm

1 Pre­heat oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F. Lightly grease the tins, then place a strip of bak­ing parch­ment across the width of each, leav­ing an over­hang­ing edge on each side.

2 Toast the wal­nuts in a skil­let or fry­ing pan set over a low heat for a few mins. Give the pan an oc­ca­sional shake so they don’t burn. Leave to cool, then roughly chop into pieces.

3 Place the but­ter and sugar in the bowl of a free-stand­ing mixer fit­ted with the pad­dle attachment and beat for ap­prox 4 mins, un­til light and fluffy.

4 Dis­solve the cof­fee gran­ules with a few drops of milk, then mix with the rest of the milk be­fore adding the eggs. Whisk to com­bine. Then, with the mixer run­ning, add the liq­uid grad­u­ally, al­low­ing each ad­di­tion to be in­cor­po­rated be­fore adding the next, scrap­ing the sides of the bowl as you go.

5 Sieve the flour and bak­ing pow­der into a bowl, then re-sift into the mixer. Beat all to­gether briefly, stop­ping the mo­ment every­thing comes to­gether. Fold in the nuts, then share the bat­ter equally be­tween tins.

6 Bake on a bak­ing sheet in the mid­dle of the oven, check­ing them af­ter 20 mins. Insert a skewer into the cen­tre of each cake; if it comes out clean, they are ready. If not, re­turn to the oven for a fur­ther 5 mins. When baked, turn out the cakes and cool on a wire rack.

7 To make the cof­fee ic­ing, start by dis­solv­ing the cof­fee gran­ules with a few drops of hot water. Add the cof­fee so­lu­tion, a lit­tle at a time, to 150g of the ic­ing sugar and mix un­til it has a thick, coat­ing con­sis­tency. If the ic­ing is too runny, add more ic­ing sugar. If you want to make co­coa ic­ing too, add the co­coa pow­der to the re­main­ing 50g of ic­ing sugar, then slowly add drops of water to achieve the same con­sis­tency as the cof­fee ic­ing.

8 Once the cakes have cooled, driz­zle on the ic­ings, adding choco­late flow­ers or toasted wal­nuts for dec­o­ra­tion.

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