Monday, 10 August 2015

Recipe for an August afternoon...& a giveaway!

 My newest acquisition in the vast library of cookbooks that threaten to take over our home is 'The Baking Book' from the fabulous Honey & Co . You may remember that I wrote about their first book 'Food from the Middle East'...and gave a copy away here too! Well, this one is just as contains some wonderful recipes - not all sweet - and I've been having such fun with it in my (not too copious) free time! I wanted to share the cake I made yesterday with you. As usual, I tweaked the original recipe. NOT because there was anything at all wrong with it - but just because I was giving it away to my family, and I know what they like! The 'real' recipe for Coffee, Cardamom & Walnut Cake has a rich coffee cream icing as a filling and on top. Delightful as that sounds, I knew that this wouldn't go down too well with 'my lot' as they prefer things less creamy and more fruity. So I followed the recipe for the cake, but added fresh apricots and finished it simply with the syrup from the original and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts after baking. The perfect marriage of flavours for a sultry August afternoon.

The cake itself is not difficult to make and has no weird ingredients...the only technique that may be new to you is making the 'burnt butter' that adds a deep, nutty note to the batter. This isn't difficult simply melt the butter over a low heat and then increase it slightly, 'cooking' the butter until it turns a rich brown. It will smell delicious...sort of caramelly & hazelnutty...and you'll notice little brown specks at the bottom of the pan. These are good! Don't leave it, though...or it WILL burn, and black is not the colour you need....
                              should look like the photo above, in fact! It will be really hot to start with, so it may help to make it first and then set it aside while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Coffee, Cardamom & Walnut Cake with Fresh Apricots
Inspired by an original recipe from Itamar Srulovich & Sarit Packer from their book Honey & Co - The Baking Book 

For the cake batter:

330g icing sugar
120g ground almonds
130g self-raising flour
80g roasted walnuts (plus a few extra to garnish)
1 tsp ground coffee (I used ground espresso beans)
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
3 whole eggs
150g egg whites (from about 4 eggs)
140g burnt butter (see above!)
Approx 4-5 ripe apricots 

For the syrup:
2 tbsp honey (I used runny orange flower honey)
60g/ml water
50g caster sugar
a double espresso (or 60g/ml strong black coffee)

Preheat oven to 190c/170cfan/gas mark 5
Line a 9"/23cm square pan with baking parchment (or circular if you prefer!)

Stir the dry ingredients and nuts together in a large bowl, 

then add the eggs and egg whites and mix really well until smooth (I used my Kitchenaid for this) Pour in the warm melted butter (scrape in all the nutty brown bits too!) and stir carefully, then transfer to the prepared tin...

...break the apricots apart gently using your fingers, remove the stones and arrange in rough pieces lightly over the surface of the cake batter. Don't push them down, just lay them on top...

 Let the batter rest in the tin for about 10 minutes, then bake for about 35 minutes until set and golden brown...this may take a little longer depending on your oven. Meanwhile, bring the syrup ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. Once the cake comes out of the oven, brush the top generously with the syrup while still hot and let it absorb...
 ...sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts and allow to cool in the tin...
...before you dive in...(although it's lovely slightly warm, too...I'd eat it like that, with a big spoonful of labneh or creme fraiche...)
 Totally divine!
To celebrate this beautiful book, I'm giving away a copy to one of you loyal readers of this blog! 

All you need to do is leave me a comment on this post to qualify. I'll send it anywhere in the world, so don't worry that you'll miss out if you don't live in the UK. I'll make the draw two weeks from today, on Monday 24th August...good luck...and thanks for reading! Have a great week x


  1. A NEW post! What a fun way to start the week! I feel like I can reach right through the pages. This recipe sounds just perfect for a Summer treat. Thank-You! XOXO Georgie

  2. I've been thinking about this book, and their first one, for a few weeks now, wondering why I've not got it in my collection.
    Middle Eastern cookery is just sublime! So happy it is gaining in popularity too. Deb xoxo

  3. Rachel, this cake looks divine! The apricots add a wonderful dimension to the lovely cake! Yum! xo ♥

  4. Oh, absolutely mouthwatering! Congrats on the new cookbook. I think I'll have to make myself some brownies! Wish you were closer!! Jane xoxo

  5. Looks delicious. I really need to buy your brownies again.

  6. It's a wonderful post and I'm so excited to try this amazing recipe as my family LOVES apricots!!! From apricot baby food to apricot anything....this one is going to be a hit!!

    Love and Hugs from faraway,

    Joann xoxo

  7. Ohh boo hoo if only I liked coffee!! Otherwise it looks fantastic. I've made brown butter for a cake and it's lovely. ♥

  8. Wish I could eat some of that devine looking cake. Not a fair world but I surely can make it for some of family. Love your inspired addition of apricots.

  9. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe. I love how you tweak recipes! I can't wait to try this one myself. Rachel

  10. Ooh apricots are a brilliant addition and I think I'd prefer your version to the one with all the buttercream too. I've heard quite a bit about Honey & Co, but haven't actually seen either of the books.

  11. Ahhh! What a lovely adaptation you have made to this coffee and walnut cake! Thank you for providing the recipe and sharing your techniques! How kind of you to have another giveaway. Looks like a wonderful book and anyone would be lucky to win it! Happy Wednesday, dear one. XO

  12. Always nice to see what's baking in your kitchen, and anything apricot gets my attention! Hoping you and yours are well and carrying on. Thanks for another lovely giveaway!

  13. It is a fabulous book, and would make a brilliant present for somebody I have in mind :) Thank you for the giveaway ;)

  14. I love your step by step help! thanks so much :)

  15. Lovely, as always. A perfect example of your gift for combining tlavours ( I put the u in just for you! )

  16. What mouth-watering brownies! My favorite food. Your blog is lovely; I first heard about your site from Susan Branch here in the U.S., as I read her blog, as well. Thank you!

  17. I like the tweaks that you made. Hubs doesn't do creamy things at all, and the apricots would absolutely work for him. I love coffee cream, but if I made it for me I'd eat it all!

  18. This looks like a real quality recipe that fits in well with Rachel's range of wonderful cakes and brownies 💚🍪

  19. Rachel. Wow! The recipe sounds wonderful! The cake looks so tempting! It would be very dangerous to have that baking book around the house. :)

  20. This looks delicious--anything with cardamom and I'm in. Thanks for sharing and hi from Oxford. ;-)


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