Neither of my grandmothers, nor indeed my mother, was a baker but this cake is nonetheless the cake of my childhood. When I was little, I used to make it for my younger sister's birthday every year, beating away vigorously with my bowl and wooden spoon. This, however, is a simplified version: everything just goes into the processor. the cake I made and ate when young was more milky coffee than espresso, but here I've bolstered it without consideration to my children. If that's your constituency or concern here, or if you yourself have a nostalgic longing for muted sweet comfort, replace the 4 teaspoons of instant espresso powder with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in a tablespoonful of boiling water.
Photo by Lis Parsons.
Recipe posted by Nigella