mark Flanagan, the queen’s chef, will do his job for him this weekend. Not only will he have to create food that is festive enough for the anniversary, he will also have to take into account the nation’s changing taste buds and preferences. That’s why I made today’s cake, to help him out (along with any other party caterers). It’s a little update on the old coffee and walnut cake, but not so modern that grandma is left behind. It’s vegan (so most people will enjoy it) and more outward looking too. I used tahini, which makes for a luscious, silky whipped cream, and miso in the caramel to give the cake some character. I hope you like it, Marc.
Coffee, walnut and miso caramel cake
Don’t be put off by the ingredient list: this is a basic recipe, albeit one with several steps, and you can make some of the elements ahead of time and assemble the cake on the day. Tightly packed, the sponge will keep for a day, while the caramel and buttercream will keep for a few days in the fridge. An electric whisk would make light work of the buttercream, but you can also do it with a hand beater.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 10 minutes
For the coffee sponge
500 grams of flour
325 g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sodium bicarbonate
¼ tsp fine sea salt
60 g walnutsfinely sliced
160 ml olive oil
360 ml whole oat milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons instant coffee powder
For the buttercream
150 g vegan butterat room temperature
300 g icing sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
For the miso caramel
150 g caster sugar
50 g vegan butterat room temperature, cut into cubes
1 tbsp white shiro miso
3 tbsp whole oat milk
A pinch of fine sea salt
For the topping
250 ml vegan whipped cream – I love Oatly’s Whippable Creamy Oat
2 tbsp icing sugar
3 tbsp light tahini
50 g walnutsfinely sliced
Grease two 23cm cake tins, line and preheat oven to 200C (180C Fan)/390F/Gas 6.
To make the cake batter, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, salt, and walnuts in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a second large bowl, combine the oil, milk, vinegar and coffee powder.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet bit by bit and mix with a spoon until smooth. Divide the batter between the two baking pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
To make the buttercream, beat the sugar, butter and coffee powder with an electric whisk (or beat with a hand whisk) until light and fluffy and set aside.
To make the miso caramel, place the sugar and two tablespoons of cold water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir gently to dissolve the sugar – the mixture will bubble and begin to color slowly. After about five minutes, when it turns from pale gold to golden syrup, remove from heat and immediately, but gently, whisk in the butter, miso and oat milk. The mix will bubble aggressively at first, but will wear off after a minute. Once settled, let it cool for a few minutes, then whisk in a pinch of sea salt and set aside.
Just before you’re ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the sugar and tahini and beat to stiff peaks (note: they won’t be as stiff as milk cream peaks).
Once the sponges have cooled completely, assemble the cake. Place a sponge on a serving plate, spread the buttercream just below the outer rim and place the second sponge on top. Apply the cream to the top of the cake, then pour the miso caramel over it (if it has set, heat very gently to loosen). Finally, sprinkle over the chopped nuts, slice and serve.