Did the headline grab your attention – Here’s a recipe for Coffee & Walnut Cake which takes me back to my childhood. OK I should have added, in my humble opinion at the end LOL. Here’s a tribute to my mum on Mother’s Day. Though she’s in the UK and not in Dubai often, I talk to her often sometimes in person, more often by Whats App where she writes essays and seems to not know there’s a return button, I catch up with her shenagans on Facebook and remember her dearly through our shared love of food. So here goes.
Does food trigger a memory for you? It most certainly does for me, and here I share one of my childhood memories, a cake with a bitter sweet story.
Arriving home from school aged eleven or twelve years old, I vividly remember the house smelling of baking – not just any baking, but the sweet smell of baked coffee and walnut cake – baked fresh by mum and waiting on the kitchen counter for us to enjoy, usually with a glass of milk or a mug of tea – good strong Yorkshire tea. Close my eyes today and I can almost smell it now. The cake was nothing special, not fancy in terms of ingredients or techniques, it was made with pure and simple ingredients and cooked with love by mum as she was at home recuperating from a nasty car accident that I remember all too vividly.
The cake was a Coffee and Walnut cake, made with Camp Coffee, a liquid chicory and coffee essence mix, which actually was my first ever memory of coffee and possibly shaped the name of this website, and almost certainly kick started my love for Coffee, although my taste buds have developed somewhat and I am passionate about drinking more purer coffee now with single origins being a firm favourite, though I am tempted to dash out and buy a bottle of Camp coffee next time I make this recipe – purely for the nostalgia …
It’s funny you know, not only do I vividly remember the cake but also the machine mum used to mix it with, she was a proud owner of a Kenwood Chef mixer which lasted almost 20 years before it died. There wasn’t much mum couldn’t knock up making the machine, we always baked on Sundays and most days she baked fresh bread using the Kenwood dough hook to take the strain out of the dough kneading. The Kenwood Chef took pride of place on mum’s counter top, and more than earned it’s keep over the years. It’s still a machine I’m dreaming to own, that or a Kitchen Aid – I love the ones with the glass bowls – but until then my trusty mixer works just fine and makes baking so much easier.
PS – before we get into the cake and just in case you were wondering – we all recovered after the accident, though mum took a lot longer than us to recover, the reason – she wasn’t wearing a seat belt and went through the windscreen of the car when we hit a lorry or should I say it hit us ! – this was back before the days when you had to wear one, and people thought nothing of driving without a belt, certainly it was before the ‘Clunk Click’ adverts that made us all so aware of the importance of buckling up.
Anyway, I digress, please bake and enjoy 🙂
Here’s the recipe :
Coffee and Walnut Cake with Vanilla Butter Cream (using Camp coffee)
This is a recipe handed down by mum, I’ve no idea of the original origins of the cake – certainly this was pre- internet days (gulp) so I guess it came from a cook book that she would have used then. I shared my recipe for this in Ahlan Gourmet magazine (March 2015) as part of a feature on celebrating mums for Mothers Day.