Coffee, cake and the perfect espresso martini

Coffee in the Nespresso machine

Nespresso machine

It all started when a recipe for espresso martini came up on my Facebook feed the other day; a friend had shared it and it just looked so, so good, I knew I had to try one. I love strong coffee – and martini – so together it had to be amazing, right?

I’m not a huge maker of cocktails (i.e. I don’t ever make them) but this one looked pretty straightforward and as I’d just been asked to see what lovely recipes I could come up with using my new Nespresso coffee machine, I decided to give it a go.

To make the martini, all I had to do was invest in a bottle of coffee liqueur – no hardship as I love Tia Maria – and as I already had some vodka, I was ready to go.

All you need is

30ml coffee liqueur
30ml vodka
30ml simple sugar syrup
One shot of espresso

Espresso martini

A quick google of sugar syrup told me it was just a spoonful of sugar dissolved in hot water and cooled, so a really easy and inexpensive way of sweetening your cocktail and perhaps diluting it just a tiny amount.

Making the coffee in the Nespresso machine couldn’t be easier. The coffee shots are measured out in little disposable pods so there’s no mess, nothing to clean, just a quick, easy coffee which tastes as good as any made by a barista. It’s so simple that my son always asks if he can make me a coffee, as he knows where to put the pod and which button to press to turn it on.

He’s also just a little bit obsessed with the milk frother which sits on the side of the machine. He’s worked out how to make a babycino, and has made that his job every evening since we got the machine. The milk frother heats the milk as well as making it light and fluffy. If it’s cold milk you’re after, it can do that too, all in under two minutes.

Coffee and Walnut mini loaves

So there’s the espresso martini. The only thing I haven’t yet worked out is which is the best time of day to drink one. Too late and you’ll be awake all night, too early and well, it’s probably too early for a martini. I guess it would be perfect as an elegant aperitif or after dinner drink.

As well as the martini I tried making some mini coffee and walnut loaves, just because I’ve always wanted to buy some mini loaf tins and this seemed like a good excuse to get some! I was also sent some walnuts from Fionnuala who blogs at Three Sons Later – they are from the garden of her home in Germany, it was so lovely of her to send them so I thought I’d put them to good use. I used a twist on a basic cake recipe, and armed with a shot of espresso it didn’t take long at all.

150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g golden caster sugar
50g soft light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 shot espresso made in the Nespresso machine
150g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
50g walnuts, chopped

Walnuts and an espresso

Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and creamy.

Stir in the beaten eggs little by little, then add the espresso.

Sift in the flour, add the salt and the walnuts, then put the mixture in your mini loaf tins, smooth the top and bake in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes.

To make the buttercream, beat together 50g butter and 100g icing sugar until light and fluffy, and add in another shot of espresso. I had to add a little more icing sugar at this point as the coffee made the icing a bit too soft.

Spread the icing on the cakes, add a walnut to decorate and voila! Gorgeous coffee and walnut cakes.

Coffee and walnut loaves

I used some fresh coffee in the mixture and another shot in the buttercream, and I was just thinking while I iced the cakes how it might not be wise to let my two little ones eat these before bedtime! They really are so good though. What I didn’t anticipate was how tricky it would be to get the cakes out of the tin – I think next time I’ll grease them a bit more and maybe line the bases with greaseproof paper.

So there you are – my two favourite recipes using my new Nespresso machine. If you have a favourite coffee recipe please let me know and I might give that a go too, I’ve kind of got the bug now!

There are also lots more recipes on the Nespresso website, like Orange Blossom Cappuccino and Frozen Coconut Coffee (yum!).

x Julia

Coffee in the Nespresso machine

Nespresso machine

Martini and book

This post was written in collaboration with Debenhams.

Linking this post with Marvellous Mondays at Hello Archie.

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  • Reply
    Karen Whitlock
    June 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

    That cocktail does look good! I never make them – too much faff when I could be drinking!!! I love my Nespresso machine, which I have had for about 5 years now, and I must use it to make some of those coffee and walnut loaves!!
    Karen Whitlock recently posted…Review of Bunny Jump GameMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 6, 2016 at 12:02 am

    mmm coffee cake, if only it didn’t always have nuts on top (allergic!)
    RachelSwirl recently posted…Lady Lucks Buggered Off To Benidorm!My Profile

  • Reply
    June 6, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Looks like its time for a party! These drinks look and sound delicious and I’m always looking for something new to try.

  • Reply
    The Take of Mummyhood
    June 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I’m drooling!! I need a coffee machine in my life!


  • Reply
    June 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    If only I liked coffee! They look amazing though. I might show the OH to see if I can inspire him to use the coffee machine I bought him at Christmas! #MarvMonday
    Kerry recently posted…Lemon Meringue CupcakesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jo from Organised Jo
    June 6, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I have never tried an Espresso Martini but I will definitely give it a go, maybe even this weekend. And that cake looks devine! #MarvMondays

  • Reply
    Hayley Smith
    June 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I’m not a massive coffee drinker but you’ve sold me on the cocktail. I really love the smell of coffee but I’m always disappointed when I drink it, I think I only like posh coffee so an espresso machine sounds perfect, must be so great to just press a button and have an espresso there for you. Love this post Julia! xx
    Hayley Smith recently posted…Roald Dahl Celebrations at Tatton ParkMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I think you’d like the martini even it you’re not keen on coffee! It’s good! Xx

  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    OMG I NEED a Nsepresso machine, I have a coffee machine but its not a Nespresso. I fell in love with French coffee and expresso last week, its just so good so need to try this martini, and the cake, coffee and walnut is my favourite x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…Being Part of Living History At Guedelon Castle, FranceMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Oh Sarah it’s fab, really fast and no mess at all! I always drink lots of coffee in France too, it’s so nice! Xx

  • Reply
    My Petit Canard
    June 11, 2016 at 1:14 am

    What a fab little recipe! Not a fan of coffee, but the husband is and I bought him a nespresso about two christmases ago that he loves and uses daily so I shall be passing this recipe on! The walnut cake however, is something that I could give a go 😉 Thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    June 11, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Yum!! On all accounts. That’s the coffee machine we had in Switzerland and I loved the milk frother too!! We need to go to Upstairs at the Grill before you move. Best espresso martinis ever!!
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Time (for strawberry picking)My Profile

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