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

Double espresso brazil nut cake
Serves 8
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For the cake
  1. 100ml/3½fl oz milk
  2. 2 level tsps instant coffee
  3. 1 tbsp fine-ground roasted coffee beans
  4. 175g/7oz butter, softened
  5. 100g/4oz light soft brown sugar
  6. 100g/4oz caster sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 100g/4oz plain flour
  9. 100g/4oz spelt, rye or wholemeal flour
  10. 2 level tsps baking powder
  11. 75g/3oz brazil nuts, finely chopped
For the chocolate cream filling
  1. 100g/4oz butter
  2. 25g/1oz cornflour
  3. 25g/1oz cocoa powder
  4. 300ml/½pt milk
  5. 50g/2oz dark chocolate
  6. 100g/4oz caster sugar
  7. 8 whole brazil nuts
  8. 10g/⅓oz chopped brazil nuts
  9.  
  10. Home-made double espresso brazil nut cake ingredients
  11.  
For the cake
  1. Butter two 20cm Victoria sponge tins and line the bases with discs of non-stick baking paper
  2. Combine the milk, instant coffee and ground coffee in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave until warm
  3. Beat the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time
  4. Beat in the coffee mixture until evenly combined
  5. Sift the two flours and baking powder together two or three times, then beat this through with the chopped brazil nuts
  6. Divide the mixture equally between the tins, heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes
  8. Remove from the cake tins and cool completely on a wire rack
For the filling
  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy
  2. Mix the cornflour and cocoa with enough milk to make a smooth paste
  3. Put the chocolate and remaining milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil
  4. Pour on to the cornflour and cocoa mixture
  5. Return to the pan and simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and continue to simmer until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick custard
  6. Cool, then gradually beat the custard into the butter
  7. Use some of the filling to sandwich the two cake layers together before using the rest to cover the top and sides
  8. Decorate with the whole and chopped brazil nuts
Adapted from The Guardian: Food & drink
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Oxo cold brew coffee maker

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Oxo cold brew coffee maker

We’ve just received this Oxo cold brew coffee maker to try out. We were very intrigued when we first saw it. It filters ground coffee without boiling water. According to the maker:

The cold-brew process is known for delivering smooth, low-acid coffee. Since the grounds never come in contact with hot water, the result is a less acidic, less bitter flavour. Steeping the grounds in cold water releases only the most aromatic flavours, and the concentrate created from the cold-brew process stays fresh longer than regular coffee.

How to use the Oxo cold brew coffee maker

It’s easy to use and store… and actually good looking enough to leave on view if you’re planning to use it regularly… which you might very well want to do after trying it for the first time. In effect, it produces a cold espresso. This has the perfect, intense coffee flavour which is ideal for using in baking, ice cream & frappuccinos – and with the addition of boiling water or hot milk to the cold press, a gorgeous cup of real, hot coffee – which knocks spots off a teaspoon of instant!

Oxo cold brew coffee maker box & leaflet

We’ve been trying it out for a few days now, It’s great having ready-made, real coffee that just needs hot water or milk added. It’s like making & drinking instant coffee but with the superior real coffee taste. We’ve got a funny feeling our latte and  frappuccino consumption is going to go through the roof!

Oxo cold brew coffee maker in action

Even if you’re not much of a coffee drinker, you can use it to cold brew your tea leaves.

Home-made Frappuccino using coffee brewed with the Oxo cold brew coffee maker

If you fancy getting your hands on your very own Oxo cold brew coffee maker, why don’t you enter our competition below? Give it a go!

Oxo cold brew coffee maker giveaway

Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax

Home Tones: Black Coffee

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Basement wine cellar & seating area in a boutique mews housecredit

This week’s Home Tones brings you all things black coffee coloured. It’s the shade of brown associated with wenge, a beautiful tropical hardwood.

It’s a very practical and forgiving colour for use on walls and floors; hiding all manner of scuffs, marks… and scribbles! Perfect for those with kids or big, active dogs like ours (or rather, big muddy dogs most of the time recently!).

It has real warmth and atmosphere, working perfectly with other natural shades – and contrasting well with creamy whites and greens. Pair it with highlight metallics such as gold, brass and copper on lamps, taps, light switches and sockets.

Small home office area with black coffee wallpapered wallscredit

Light-filled sitting room with pair of large brown leather sofascredit

Bathroom with floor to ceiling matt tiles in black coffeecredit

Solid rendered spiral staircase painted in black coffee colourcredit

Bedroom in the Emirates Crown decorated in black coffee and other shades of browncredit

Bathroom clad in black coffee stained wood panellingcredit

Sitting room with pair of large cream sofas and black coffee coloured wall panellingcredit

Gimme Five! Travel coffee presses

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travel coffee presses

I don’t know about you, but I can barely function without that first mug of coffee in the morning. When we wake up & set off at stupid o’clock and head off towards some car boot sale or other over yonder, I’m not always ready for that first cuppa. Plus, if we’ve a long drive ahead of us, we want to avoid having to make a pit-stop en route to use a public convenience.

With one of these travel coffee presses, we can prepare a brew just before we hit the road and pop it in our rucksack. We can then enjoy the aroma & taste of a proper cup of coffee either on the road or as we arrive.

Our favourite is the Cafflano, designed by a Korean businessman. Apparently he “loved his ‘proper’ coffee and drank several cups a day, but resented the high prices of coffee-shop coffee and didn’t want to spend a fortune on an espresso or capsule machine” – a man after my own heart!

It’s great because it incorporates a built-in ceramic grinder, hot water reservoir and drip filter. You’d be hard pressed 🙂 to make a fresher cup of coffee on the go!

  1. Healthy Steps coffee press: £7.40, eBay
  2. Cafflano Klassic coffee maker: £64.99, Lakeland
  3. Impress coffee brewer: £34.99, Firebox
  4. AeroPress coffee maker: £25, Whittard
  5. Aladdin Aveo flask with cafétiere: £19.05, Amazon

Cona coffee maker

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Vintage Cona Rex coffee maker with vintage yellow cup & saucer

 

We recently acquired this gorgeous vintage coffee percolator.

detail showing Cona branding | H is for Home

It’s the Cona Model Rex – a design classic by the renowned artist Abram Games.

vintage Cona coffee maker | H is for Home

Not only is the appearance striking, but it works really well and the build quality is excellent. It’s got quite an industrial or science lab look to it.

detail showing vintage Cona coffee maker's wick | H is for Home

We love the little details like the drip catcher and this hinged wick cover.

vintage Cona coffee maker dismantled | H is for Home

A number of institutions, such as the British Museum and the Science Museum, have examples of this model of percolator in their collections. Here’s a video demonstration of how the Cona coffee maker works…

Form & function meeting perfectly!

Cakes & Bakes: Mocha fudge cake with coffee icing

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slice of mocha fudge cake on a plate with mug of coffee

This is the first post of a new series – Cakes & Bakes – where we’ll regularly share recipes that we’ve tried out along with photos of the results!

slice of mocha fudge cake on a plate with mug of coffee

Today’s recipe, mocha fudge cake with coffee icing, was taken from Good Food Magazine | 101 Cakes & Bakes | Tried-and-Tested Recipes

Takes 1 hour 5 minutes plus 4 hours chilling

Cakes & Bakes: Mocha fudge cake with coffee icing

Yield: serves 10

Cakes & Bakes: Mocha fudge cake with coffee icing

Ingredients

  • For the icing
  • 175g/6oz plain chocolate, melted50g/2oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 150ml/¼ pint double-strength espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g/10oz icing sugar
  • For the cake
  • 300g/10oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 125ml/4 fl oz milk
  • 4 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g/3oz unsalted butter
  • 280g/10oz caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz plain chocolate, melted
  • 125ml/4 fl oz sour cream

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the cooled icing ingredients. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4/fan oven 160°C. Butter & flour two 20cm/8" loose-based cake tins. Sift the flour and baking powder. Stir the vanilla into the egg yolks. Heat half the milk to boiling point, stir in the coffee to dissolve, then add the rest of the milk and cool.
  3. Cream the butter and 200g/8oz of the caster sugar. Slowly whisk in the egg yolk mixture, then the melted chocolate. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients, the cooled milk and the soured cream. Whisk the egg whites until stiff; whisk in the remaining sugar to form firm peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture and pour into the tins.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until risen. Cool, split each cake in two, and layer with the icing.

Notes

The cake is delicious when warmed slightly - 30 seconds in a microwave will do it. Serve with crème fraîche, double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We added some mini chocolate chips for decoration - chocolate covered coffee beans would also work well!

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