Cakes & Bakes: Double espresso brazil nut cake

Slice of home-made double espresso brazil nut cake and double espresso in vintage 'Black Velvet' china | H is for Home

We’ve been enjoying a very successful British summer of sport so far with Andy Murray winning Wimbledon (and Heather Watson the mixed doubles), Danny Willett taking the golf US Masters title and Chris Froome dominating the Tour de France. The England cricket team have been performing well, Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula One championship… and our Olympic prospects are looking bright.

Boiling milk and coffee in a saucepan | H is for Home

Chopped brazil nuts | H is for Home

What could we incorporate into this week’s Cakes & Bakes to mark the start of the afore mentioned Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro? Why brazil nuts of course!

Double espresso brazil nut cake mixture in a pair of round cake tins | H is for Home

Cooked double espresso brazil nut cake layers cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

I trawled all my cook books and the internet and eventually found Dan Lepard’s double espresso brazil nut cake recipe in the Guardian website’s Food & drink section. If you’re a fan of coffee & walnut cake, you’ll love this!

Making the sandwich filling for the double espresso brazil nut cake | H is for Home

Chocolate icing filling ingredients | H is for Home

His instructions call for a coffee water icing but I found a chocolate filling that I fancied (from my Little Books of Delight: Chocolate Cakes), so I combined the two together. I also added some whole and chopped brazil nuts to garnish the top. Serve it with a double espresso, what else?!

Iced & decorated double espresso brazil nut cake | H is for Home

Cranberry almond biscotti
Yields 15
  1. 70g/2½oz butter, melted
  2. 135g/4¾oz granulated sugar
  3. ½tsp salt
  4. 2tsp baking powder
  5. 2tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 120g/4oz plain flour
  8. 120g/4oz semolina flour
  9. 115g/4oz dried cranberries
  10. 115g/4oz chopped almondsHome-made cranberry almond biscotti ingredients
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  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350°F/ Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a biscotti pan or large baking sheet
  3. Stir together the melted butter, sugar, salt and baking powder
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the eggs
  5. Blend in the flours, cranberries and almonds
  6. Place into the prepared biscotti pan, leaving a 2cm/¾-inch margin free on each side of the pan, to allow for expansion. If you're using a baking sheet, form the dough into a flattened log about 28 x 10cm (10½ x 4 inches).
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour
  8. Slice on the diagonal into 4cm/½-inch thick pieces. Place them back on the baking sheet, standing them on edge if you can; this will ensure they bake evenly
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/325°F/Gas mark 3 and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden
  10. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack
  11. They can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
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Cakes & Bakes: Bolo de fubá com coco

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slice of bolo de fubá com coco | H is for Home

I’ve finally succumbed to the World Cup-mania – this is a Brazil-themed blog post! Brazilians have a sweet tooth apparently, and this bolo de fubá com coco is a national favourite. Bolo de fubá com coco translates as ‘cornmeal cake with coconut’.

It’s quite a densely textured cake –  so folding in the beaten egg whites is an important stage in the proceedings. What isn’t quite so necessary, but makes the job that much quicker, is using quite so many mixing bowls and different electric mixers. You may even say that the time you save on the mixing, you lose on all that extra washing up!

Using a Bundt tin is traditional but it’s not essential if you don’t have one, a large round cake tin will suffice. The cornmeal gives it a lovely yellow colour. It’s a tasty and very filling cake, so don’t cut yourself a massive slice! It’s a mid-afternoon with a cup of tea kind of cake.

Bolo de fubá com coco

Yield: makes 8-12 slices

Bolo de fubá com coco


  • For the cake
  • 225g/8oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 330g/11½oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 250g/9oz finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 235ml/fl oz coconut milk
  • 120ml/fl oz milk
  • 100g/oz dessicated coconut
  • For the topping
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs dessicated coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a Bundt cake tin or 23cm/9 inch round springform cake tin
  3. In a large measuring jug, combine the coconut milk, milk and dessicated coconut and set aside
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cornmeal and set aside
  5. Separate the egg yolks & whites. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, and preferably using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Set aside
  6. Using an electric stand mixer on a medium speed, cream the butter and caster sugar
  7. Gently whisk the egg yolks before gradually adding them to the butter & sugar mixture mixing on a low speed all the while
  8. Still on a low speed, add flour & cornmeal mixture alternating with the coconut & milk mixture
  9. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until well combined
  10. Put the mixture into the Bundt/cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes away clean
  11. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside
  12. Allow the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing it from the tin and transferring it on to a serving plate
  13. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and dessicated coconut over the top