13 Nov Honey Roasted Hazelnut Coffee Cake
Did you know that hazelnuts are native to Ireland? Gavin Lynch and Linda Geraghty run a small, organic dairy farm called Hell’s Kettle Farm in a leafy valley in Wicklow. When they’re not tending to their cows, they’re looking after their small bunch of hazelnut trees.
Mark and I spent an autumnal day with Gavin, Linda and their newborn Peter, marvelling at how hazelnuts go from a bud in a tree to a nut in a shell. We cracked dried hazelnuts by hand in order to roast them, drizzled in honey, to make a traditional farmhouse coffee cake.
Photo by Aoife McElwain
Find out more about Hell’s Kettle Farm and their hazelnuts here.
Thanks to Lyttet for the use of their track.
Honey Roasted Hazelnut Coffee Cake
This cake makes me feel very nostalgic and warm on the inside. My grandmother Brigid was famous for her coffee cake, and swore by the retro coffee extract Irel. Today, I never make a coffee cake without it.
By Aoife McElwain
For the cake
1 tablespoon of honey
225g soft butter
225g light muscovado sugar
1 small cup of cold coffee
300g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
For the icing
85g soft butter
225g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of coffee extract (like Irel)
2 to 3 tablespoons of cold coffee
Half a teaspoon of finely ground coffee
- Line two baking trays (one 30cm x 20cm cake tin and one flat baking tray for roasting the hazelnuts) with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
- Chop the hazelnuts in half and lay them on the flat baking tray. Drizzle with the honey and mix together. Roast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Make a small, very strong cup of coffee. Use about half the water you usually would to make one cup, but use the same amount of coffee. You need about 7 – 8 tablespoons for the whole recipe. Set it aside to cool.
- With an electric whisk, beat together the butter and muscovado sugar until frothy and smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Chop about half the hazelnuts into finer chunks and add to the batter. Set aside the other half of the hazelnuts for the icing.
- Pour in 4 tablespoons of coffee to the batter.
- Sieve the flour into a bowl. Sieve the baking powder into the flour. Now add the flour and baking powder into the mix and use a large spoon to gently fold it together.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tray and bake at 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4 in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make your icing by using your electric whisk to mix together the soft butter and icing sugar, coffee and coffee extract.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once the cake is completely cool, ice the cake with your coffee icing.
- Roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts and sprinkle over the cake.
- Sprinkle with a light dusting of finely ground coffee.
- Slice the cake into squares and serve with some (hot) coffee on the side.