Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/
gas 5. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round
sandwich tins. For the sponge use an
electric whisk to beat the eggs and sugar
in a large bowl until light and thick like
semi-whipped cream. Gently fold in the
flour, then the oil and finally the chopped
nuts. Divide mix between the tins and
bake for 15 mins or until cooked through.
Turn cakes out onto a wire rack and
leave to cool.
To make the cream filling, whip the
cream with the sugar and vanilla, then
set aside. For the butter icing, beat the
butter with half the sugar until smooth.
Add remaining sugar, stir in the milk and
coffee essence, then continue to beat
until everything is combined.
To assemble, spread a third of the cream
filling on top of one of the cakes, put
another cake on top, spread another
third of the cream over and lay the final
cake on top. Put remaining cream in a
piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle.
Use a palette knife to spread the butter
icing all over the top and sides of the
cake. Lightly press the finely chopped
walnuts into the sides and scatter the
top with the roughly chopped walnuts.
Pipe 8 swirls of cream on top, one for
each slice, and top with a walnut half.
The cake will now sit happily in a cool
place for a couple of hours but is best
enjoyed on the day it is made.