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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coffee Walnut Snack Cake



I put this cake together while watching the news last evening. I must admit I have a fractured relationship with television. It began when the BBC killed Inspector Morse, it worsened when I realized that dialogue on prime time series had fallen to 500 words or less and it ended when the networks began to sell opinion as news. The final nail in the coffin came when producers made entertainment and charm a component of cooking shows. I'm ashamed to admit I began talking, often rudely, to the TV and, while an intervention got me back on track, I'm constantly aware of how easily one can fall back into bad habits. Hence, I distract myself by multitasking - baking - when the set is on. This cake is simple to do. It can be made in two bowls with a wooden spoon and it follows in the European tradition of barely sweet pastry. I like to serve this with coffee for dessert or breakfast and, said she smiling sweetly, whenever the TV is on.

Coffee Walnut Snack Cake

Ingredients:
Cake:
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 tablespoon boiling water
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Confectioners' sugar
Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup crystallized sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon water

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray. Set aside.
2) Place flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add sugar and whisk again.
3) Combine milk, eggs. butter and coffee mixture in a second medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
4) Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add chopped walnuts and mix together with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Set aside.
5) To make topping, mix flour, baking powder, salt, walnuts and crystallized in a small bowl. Add butter and use fingers to rub in until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle in apple pie spice and water and lightly work mixture to form loose crumbs. Sprinkle topping over cake.
6) Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan. Release sides and transfer to serving plate when completely cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

24 comments:

Selba said...

What a delicious cake with good ingredients :)

ama said...

It looks great! :) So simple and so delicous!

Ning said...

I love recipes like this! delicious cake and toppings and best of all, easy to clean up afterwards!

Katy ~ said...

LOL, I absolutely hear you about Inspector Morse et al. We are hooked on BBC's whodunits and rent DVD's to watch these newly discovered old series.

The walnut cake looks so good to me. I'm a nut fan from way back. I'm saving this!

Culinary Wannabe said...

TV can certainly suck you in. We have a no tv during the work week rule, just because it eats up your whole evening before you even know it. And the cake looks delicious!

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds delicious and simple.. Perfect coffee cake. I love the coffee flavor and the toasted walnut combination.. Did you use instant coffee crystals?

Ginger said...

Mary lucky for me I just bought a bad a walnuts. This cake would be wonderful with a piping cup of hot coffee.

Susan said...

Oh that would taste so good with a cup of coffee right now!! Unfortunately, your kitchen is a bit far from mine...

Martha said...

Love those simple sweet treats and that looks really good.

Hootin' Anni said...

This looks and sounds so rich and heavenly.

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Mary said...

Ama, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll bake the cake and find it so delicious you can't help but come back to visit us again.

Mary said...

Donna, I used Folgers coffee crystals to make the cake. I have used powdered instant in the past. It depends on what is in the pantry.

Maria said...

What a great snack!

girlichef said...

This sounds lovely. And I hear ya, I'm always finding myself talking at the t.v.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I chcukled at your decription of your relationship woth the TV. You hit the nail on the head.

I like the simplicity of this bread, simple enough for me to make.

Pam said...

I always cook while watching the news...I can't stand that they only show NEGATIVE news.

This snack cake looks wonderful - I would love a slice for breakfast.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Mary. I am sitting here giggling. I love the idea of you talking to the irritating tv and baking!

I love coffee cake so much, thanks for another amazing recipe to add to my arsenal!

Natashya said...

Bella is so used to me shouting out the answers at the Jeopardy screen that she barks at it too.
(Then looks to me for approval, so cute!)
I love a mildly sweet coffee cake too, this sounds lovely.

noble pig said...

I used to write for the news in Los Angeles until I couldn't take sensationalism!

This cake looks lovely. I love the European method of not so sweet. I was raised this way.

the ungourmet said...

This looks really great! I prefer pecans to walnuts. Do you think it would be good with pecans?

I want to tell you how happy I am to find your blog! I love your header. I had to show it to my husband! I also love all of the great info you have on your sidebar!

Have a terrific day!

Mary said...

Ungourmet - pecans would be fine. So would almonds and hazelnuts. The trick is to get the added flavor boost by toasting the nuts.

Penny said...

I have a beef with the food network. I remember when David Rosengarten had the most informative show about food. I loved it. Then they brought in a bunch of airheads to "entertain". Still like Ina and Napa Style, but the rest is questionable. Your cake looks good!

Karen said...

This looks good... like that it has a little instant coffee in it. I bet that adds nicely to the combination of flavors. I'm with you re the TV. There isn't much to watch these days that is very good.

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