Indulgent, sweet, impressive, and comforting – this is a special occasion cake! You will need two 20cm/8in loose-bottomed deep cake tins.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coffee granules
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 225g/8oz baking spread, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the praline

  • 100g/3½oz granulated sugar
  • 75g/2¾oz shelled hazelnuts

For the coffee buttercream

  • 1 tbsp coffee granules
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g/8oz icing sugar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease two deep, loose-bottomed 20cm/8in cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  • Dissolve the coffee in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Put the eggs, baking spread, sugar, flour, baking powder, and coffee into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level the surface.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well risen and the sponge has come away from the sides of the tins. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  • To make the praline, line a baking sheet with baking paper. Put the sugar and 4 tablespoons of water into a saucepan over low heat. Slowly stir until the sugar dissolves and you have a clear syrup. Remove the spoon, increase the heat, and boil, without stirring, until the syrup is pale golden. (CAUTION: boiling sugar is extremely hot. Handle very carefully). Add the hazelnuts and swirl to coat them in the syrup, then quickly tip the mixture onto the baking sheet. Leave to cool and harden.
  • To make the buttercream, dissolve the coffee in 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the coffee and icing sugar a little at a time, beating until smooth, light, and fluffy.
  • Break the praline into pieces over a wooden board, then chop it into very small pieces.
  • Put one cake on a plate, pipe small dollops of buttercream (or simply spread it) reserving half the buttercream for the top. Sprinkle with half the praline. Set the second cake on top, spread with the remaining buttercream, and sprinkle with the remaining praline.