19 February 2010

Half a Cake

Two considerations have kept me from baking frosted, filled cakes namely that a) I did not own two cake tins of the same size, and thought it an extravagant purchase; b) even though we all like cake, I could not envisage how we would finish a big cake like that before the cream-based icing would go off. The obvious solution is, of course, bake half a cake! Only needs one tin and will result in less cake, so can be eaten in time. Why did I not think of this before?
My half-a-cake looked great, was easily and well executed and tasted lovely - and, I decided, shall make up the missing half with a longer name! This little creation was inspired by a recipe from Susannah Blake, "Afternoon Tea Parties"; a lovely little book.

(Half a) Walnut Sponge Cake with Coffee-Mascarpone Frosting
3 eggs
180 g butter, soft
180 g sugar
60 g walnuts
180 g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g chopped walnuts
4 tbsp espresso, cold
250 g mascarpone
85 g confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C. Beat together butter and sugar until frothy, beat in the eggs one at a time and follow with a little of the flower to prevent the eggs from curdling. Add the remaining flour and baking powder, finally add 2 tablespoons of espresso and 60 g of chopped walnuts to the batter. Bake for 25 minutes in a lined spring form tin (mine has a diameter of 26 cm) until done. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, beat together the icing sugar, mascarpone and another 2 tablespoons of espresso. Cut the cake in half, frost the top of one half with about one third of the frosting, place the other half on top and frost the top and back with the remaining espresso-mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

Admittedly, the frosting makes this richer than I like my ordinary afternoon cake, but for the odd occasions when I fancy such a creamy option, half-a-cake it is for me. Served with a steaming hot cup of tea, listening to Monty Python singing "Eric-the-half-a-bee". Twiddlededum, twiddlededee...

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