Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekly Bake-Off: Hokey Pokey Coffee Cake

This Hokey Pokey Coffee Cake is my entry into the Weekly Bake-Off...an homage to the great Mary Berry herself. Each week a different Mary Berry recipe challenge is set, with all participants baking the same recipe and then submitting their results.
When I saw that the recipe was Coffee Cake, I wasn't sure that this recipe would live up to my fail-safe Delia recipe. However, I must say I've been proved wrong...Mary's cake was utterly delicious, everyone thought it tasted great and the hokey pokey certainly elevated it above your average coffee cake. It also had a fabulous rise, making for a very impressive cake! So it's definitely a recipe to keep and make again.

The only thing I would say is that maybe there could be a bit more advice on how to make praline for the uninitiated. The recipe doesn't mention the fact that whilst the sugar is dissolving you should only stir it once or twice and then once you get past this stage and it starts simmering you should never stir it as this will lead to a praline catastrophe. At this stage you should really only swirl the pan occasionally. It also doesn't mention that this process can take quite a while, probably around 20 minutes.

Interstingly, the recipe also refers to the walnut praline as Hokey Pokey which is well known in New Zealand. However, a friend who is from NZ always refers to honeycomb as Hokey Pokey, so I googled it and it is indeed honeycomb...but who am I to argue when the cake tastes this good!
Ingredients

225g butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee in 1tbsp hot water
75g chopped walnuts

Walnut Praline

2 tbsp water
50g caster sugar
50g walnut pieces

Butter Icing

75g butter
250g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee in 1 1/2 tbsp hot water

Heat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3 and line two 8 inch sandwich tins. This cake is easy to make, just put all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly before dividing between the two sandwich tins and level the surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins for a minute or two before turning out on to a wire rack.

The cake was the easy bit now for the praline! Place the sugar and water into a pan and put over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, the solution should go clear. You should then continue until the praline turns a deep amber colour (watch very carefully during the whole process as it can burn). Once ready, take it off the heat and mix in the nuts. This should then be poured out onto non-stick baking parchment.

Once the hokey pokey is cooled it can be broken up. Large bits should be kept for the decoration on top, with the remainder being broken up and added to the icing which will be sandwiched between the two cakes.

To make the icing, the butter and sifted icing sugar should be placed in a bowl, along with the coffee and then mixed to give a light and fluffy coffee buttercream. Finally, take the two cakes and place the least attractive one upside down on the serving plate. Spread the icing with the hokey pokey in on this cake and then place the other cake on top. To finish icing the top cake and cover with the remaining butter icing. The finishing touch, lovely pieces of hokey pokey decorating the top.

* Adapted from 100 Cakes and Bakes by Mary Berry

18 comments:

  1. This coffee cake looks tempting!

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  2. I am with Pearl - tempting!! Thank you so much for sharing it! Have a great weekend :)

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  3. My father loves walnuts in cakes. I am sure he would be very pleased with this one. The cake looks delicious!

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  4. Ooh, I think I know several people who would appreciate this beauty!

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  5. What a lovely variation on a true cake classic! Really lovely recipe!

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  6. Amazing this cake. Will keep this recipe. I love it to bits. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. This cake looks amazing! Always love a classic cake like this and this recipe seems to be a timeless keeper.

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  8. Your cake looks perfect! I had trouble with my walnut praline - I should have read thi post first! Rachel x

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  9. Looks so tempting with coffee & walnut pralines sounds heavenly!

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  10. I would certainly strongly recommend this recipe... just a lovely recipe which is so easy to make...it's the kind of thing you'd make again and again! :-)

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  11. Very tempting especially now all my coffee layer cake is gone :(

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  12. Laura, I'm starting to love Mary Berry as much as I love Nigella. She still has a long way to go (it takes a lot to remove Nigella from her pedestal!) but everey one of her recipes I've tried have turned out great. This one looks lovely too.

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  13. Claire...Mary Berry is great! Loads of simple recipes for every occasion. I like Nigella too but Mary is the ultimate cake maker! :-)

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  14. I made this for a fundraising day for my granddaughter and it was a big hit!:-)

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  15. Tastes delicious and the walnut praline in the icing adds a whole new definition of flavour and texture!

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  16. You are spot on about the praline...... Found this is the hard way too......but it does make the cake a little bit special compared to the average coffee cake....loved making and eating it....

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  17. Hi, I made this cake for my hub's Bday, minus the pralines as we have young babes, and it was absolutely delish - except it didn't rise very much. Wonder where I went wrong?

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