Friday, September 9, 2011

Your NEW favorite cake

The Black Walnut cake is a Brown Family tradition.  My grandmother made it for us all the time...and still does when I make it back east for a visit. It was the cake we always requested for birthdays, even the kids!  It was just that good.

Since I don't have Grandma's recipe (she is a dash of this, sprinkle of that kind of cook) I baked up my own version based on Ina Garten's honey vanilla pound cake.  Her cake is pretty darn awesome just the way it is, but the black walnut version?  It's definitely my new favorite.  (Don't tell Grandma)

This cake is so good!  You really need to try it.  Because, really?  Words don't do it justice.  Black Walnuts don't taste like the regular English walnuts most people are used to eating.  They are better.  And in this recipe you use Black Walnut extract and crush your actual black walnuts so you aren't chomping on large hunks of nuts.  This is a great cake for a simple dessert with ice cream and it is also a great breakfast type cake.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Just delicious.

I think the cat wants some too

Black Walnut Cake, adapted from Ina Garten's honey vanilla pound cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter at cool room temperature (leave it out for about an hour)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons black walnut extract
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup black walnuts, crushed
for the glaze:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Grease the bottom of a 9 inch loaf pan with butter and then coat it with flour.

In your mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until it is nice and fluffy.  That will take about 3-4 minutes on medium speed.  Next add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next.  Once they are all incorporated add the extract.  Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl before adding that to the mixer as well, a little at a time, on low speed.  When that is done remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the crushed walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake it for about 50-60 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Allow it to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan.  Let it cool completely on a wire rack.  Once cool mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar and then pour it over the cake in a back and forth pattern across the top.  Serve and enjoy!

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