Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Now I am back in London

Yes, I'm back here, but I am going to try very hard to keep a positive attitude in my blog writing, because I realise that I got a bit gloomy over the last 4 weeks here (put it partly down to breaking my finger and being unwell for a good 3 weeks of it). There is only 3 and a half weeks left anyway, then I go on tour, which can be done using my home as a base.
So the weekend at home was fantastic and amazing and I loved every single second. I took loads of photos which I will use on the blog over the next few entries, to help keep the memories alive for me.
So first, I went out for birthday celebrations on Saturday night, my birthday is coming up and my friends birthday was yesterday. I baked my friend a coffee and walnut cake and it went down as such a success. Here it is:

and here is the recipe:

Coffee and walnut cake
For the cake
225g/8oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
50ml/1¾fl oz strong espresso coffee
225g/8oz self-raising flour
75g/2½oz walnuts

For the butter cream topping
125g/4½oz unsalted butter
200g/7oz icing sugar
50ml/2fl oz strong espresso coffee
12 walnut halves, to decorate

Preparation method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until very light and pale.
3. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating
well to completely incorporate each egg before adding the next egg.
4. Add the espresso to the mixture and stir well.
5. Add the flour and walnuts and stir well to completely combine.
6. Spoon the cake mixture into a lined and greased 20cm/8in cake
7. Transfer to the oven to bake 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer
inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake is
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
9. For the butter cream topping, beat the butter and icing sugar together and add the coffee. Spread over the top of the cooled cake.

My finger is still strapped up but I am well besides that!


  1. like I said..on your day off, go to kew gardens
    it will help

    1. Enjoy Sheffield John.

    2. I worked in the labs at Kew for a year as part of my degree. Go. Often. It's great!! :D

  2. Don't ever feel Dan that you have to be 'bright and beautiful' all the time just to make your blog not sound so moaning. We all have our off days and sometimes it is better to say so otherwise who are we being truthful too, certainly not ourselves. Being homesick is very difficult to deal with at any age. Anyway, many of us who read your blog are probably parents anyway/or have left 'home' ourselves at some time, so we know what it is like for you. Keep on keeping on!

  3. Your blog name caught my eye so I came over to see you. Love coffee and walnut cake so you have lucky friends to share it with. Came from Going Gently. Off to read some more of your posts.

    1. Welcome, you have caught me at a bad moment, because I am away from home working for 8 weeks. Soon be home now though and then normal blogging will resume.

  4. Your coffee and walnut cake looks scrummy - one of my favorites - unfortunately I am not a very good baker - but one can only keep trying.

    1. Ah, give it a go, it's easy. Just make sure the butter is nice and soft and then there's nothing to it.

  5. As was said above me, don't ever think you have to try to be up or positive all the time. If I was away from having access to the farm for a month, you'd read about it, that's for sure, ha. John had great advice too, visit some gardens if you have off time, not only will they give you some mind clearing time, they'll give you some inspiration as well.

    And by the way, that cake looks DELICIOUS!!

    1. When I do eventually get some time off I will try and visit some gardens. Today I booked my train home for the 2nd June, can't wait!

    2. So you'll be home for good on June 2nd? Shoot, that's not that far away. I know it probably feels like it, but you'll be counting the days! :-)

    3. Not exactly for good, the show I am in goes to France and other places, but I will be able to live at home in between working trips away.

  6. coffee and walnut cake , delish :-) I will be giving that one a try

  7. Have you any of that cake left? It looks delicious.

  8. I like your blog just as it is and no need to keep up appearances, just say how you feel.
    The cake looks delicious, I might try it with chocolate instead of coffee. And a visit to Kew gardens is definitely a good idea, one I wish I could do myself...

  9. My mouth is watering just looking at that cake - coffee and walnut is my favourite. I've made a note of your recipe and I'll be giving it a try soon.


  10. That cake looks delicious. I'm going to have to try this.

    Also, don't worry about having a bit of a moan now and then. You worked hard to get that house; it, and the life you have there is everything you've wanted so of course you will miss it!

  11. i made your cake last week and will be making again. it was very easy to do. thanks for the recipe.

    1. Oh I'm so pleased! I thought it was delicious, in fact, I may have to make another now!

    2. hehe! in fact, two of my colleagues have now requested for me to make your cake again as a birthday cake for a third colleague ;) So I'm back to see if I have all the ingredients... and nope. I only have espresso and flour! LOL!