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Espresso Walnut Loaf

Think afternoon tea or a cake sale. Either way, this nutty loaf by Clara McQuaid is an old-school winner.

• 225 g self-raising flour
• 225 g light muscovado sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 225 ml groundnut oil
• 4 medium eggs, separated
• 50 ml espresso or strong filter coffee, cooled
• 50 ml milk
• 75 g chopped walnuts


Espresso Cream Filling
• 250 g mascarpone
• 1 tbs espresso
• 25 g golden syrup
• 10 g icing sugar, sifted



100 g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbs espresso coffee
6-8 walnut halves




1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Butter a 22cm loaf tin.

2. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, espresso and milk and beat until smooth, either with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon.
3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff (definitely use an electric hand mixer, unless you are brave). Fold them into the mixture in two batches.

4. Stir in the walnuts and add the mix to the cake tin. Smooth over the top. Bake for about 50-55 minutes. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a while before tipping it onto a wire rack.

5. Now make the espresso cream. Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl, beat the coffee in, then the syrup and the icing sugar until well combined.

6. Split the cake into 3 layers with a large bread knife. Spread the espresso cream over the two bottom layers and sandwich together.

7. To make the icing, blend the icing sugar and the coffee together and drizzle down the centre of the cake, smoothing it towards the sides using a palette knife. Don’t worry about completely covering the surface. If it drips over the edges then all the better!

8. Decorate the top with the walnut halves and dust with a little icing sugar. Leave the cake to set for about an hour before eating.




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