Tag Archives: walnut

Flourless Chocolate-Graham Cake

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This cake is totally outside of my baking comfort zone.  No flour, no baking powder/soda.  I was half expecting a cross between a pancake and a rock (would that be a hockey puck maybe?)  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when what came out of my oven was actually edible – and really tasty!

The texture is a little more spongy and dense than your average old cake.  But the flavors of the graham crackers, cinnamon, chocolate and walnuts blend so fabulously.  If you’re feeling adventurous, give this one a try.

chocolate graham dream cake

The Recipe (makes one 9″ cake):

1 teaspoon butter (for pan) or baking spray

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 whole crackers – if you want to try your hand at home made graham crackers see the recipe here)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I did about 1/8 teaspoon to make sure the flavor didn’t overpower)

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, recipe follows

The Process:

1.  Butter or spray a 9-inch cake pan.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a dark pan).

3.  Put the chocolate chips and walnuts in a blender or food processor and roughly chop for a few seconds.

4.  Put the cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl and mix together.

5.  Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in the mixer bowl and the whites in a small bowl.

6.  Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat on high speed until pale yellow and creamy.  Add the chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until blended.  Add the cracker crumb mixture and mix again.  Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl once in a while.

7.  Beat the egg whites on high speed until very white and fluffy.  The peaks should stand when you lift the beater.

8.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the eggs whites over the egg yolk mixture.  Fold in the egg whites by gently moving the spatula in an “S” formation.  Keep folding until all the egg whites have disappeared into the batter.

9.  Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

10.  Remove the cake and place a cooling rack on top.  Flip the pan and the cooling rack simultaneously and allow the cake to slide out from the pan (cake will be upside down, but wait, there’s more!)  Place your serving dish upside down on the cake bottom, and flip the cooling rack once more and voila – your cake is now right side up on your serving dish.  Hope I didn’t lose many people there…

11. Make the sweetened whipped cream.  Place 1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and mix on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Make sure not to over-beat and make yourself some sweetened butter!

12.  Serve with a dollop of the whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder for that extra “pretty” factor.

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Walnut Breakfast Bread with Honey Oatmeal Streusel

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Walnut Breakfast Bread with Honey Oatmeal Streusel

This bread is so good, drool worthy in fact.  Just a hint of sweetness, amazing texture from the walnuts and the oatmeal.  And the streusel is to die for – sweet, crunchy, nutty – you get where I’m going 🙂  Perfect on the go breakfast, or snack – or for that Mother’s Day Brunch you’re planning!  I can tell we’ll be making this a lot in our house.  Good luck trying to keep this around yours for long!

Walnut Breakfast bread with honey oatmeal streusel

Can’t you just taste that crunch?!? Yum, yum…

The Recipe (makes 1 loaf):

Topping:

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bread:

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature.  Plus extra for buttering the pan.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup oatmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 if using a dark pan)

2.  Make the honey oatmeal streusel.  Beat the honey and butter with a mixer until smooth.  Add the oatmeal, walnuts and cinnamon and mix on low speed until blended.  Set aside.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.

4.  Place the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to incorporate.  Set aside.

5.  In your mixer, place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.

6.  Break the egg into the butter mixture and beat until combined.

7.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth.  Add the milk and mix again.

8.  Add the walnuts into the batter and mix until they are distributed throughout the batter.

9.  Scrape the batter into the buttered loaf pan.  Sprinkle the streusel over top.

10.  Place in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (mine was honestly closer to 40 minutes).

11.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Banana (Chocolate) Walnut Bread

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I think everyone should bake a loaf of this bread right now, just so your house smells as good as mine! 🙂 Great texture and flavor – I have to say, I’m really sorry I’ve never tried all these yummy recipes before!  So far, they have all been amazingly good.  I did add some chocolate chips to my version, because, why not?!?

na Chocolate Walnut Bread

The Recipe (makes 1 loaf):

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese for serving (recipe follows)

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 4×8 loaf pan with butter.

3.  Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

4.  Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat with mixer until light and fluffy.

5.  Break the eggs into the bowl and beat until completely blended with butter mixture.

6.  Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth.

7.  Peel the bananas and break into small chunks.  Add the bananas, sour cream, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  Blend at low speed until combined.

8.  Pour the batter into the buttered loaf pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.

9.  Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes (I found this was spot on).

10.  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes (yeah right).  Turn the pan upside down to allow the loaf to fall out.  Place loaf right side up and let cool another 15 minutes (sure…) before slicing.

This bread was great on its own, but even better with some Cinnamon Cream Cheese.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

I package softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

2-3 teaspoons brown sugar

Classic Fudge Brownies (with a Peanut Butter twist)

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Here’s your pretty standard fudgy brownie recipe.  I added a little “me” twist by swirling in some yummy peanut butter – just to make them that much more awesome.

Fudge peanut butter Brownie

 

The Recipe

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips since I had them on hand)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 teaspoons butter at room temperature

3 eggs

1  1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (as per usual, I did 2 teaspoons)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup melted peanut butter (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

The Process

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F

2.  Using a double boiler, melt the 1/2 cup butter and chocolate over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Set aside to cool when completely melted.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×12 baking dish.

4.  Break the eggs into the bowl of your mixer.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).

5.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated into the sugar mixture.   Add half the flour and mix at low speed until mixed in.  Add the remaining flour (and optional walnuts) and mix until blended.

6.  Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish.  If using the peanut butter option, melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave.  Place a dollop of peanut butter at each corner of the pan and 1 dollop in the center.   Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter in an “S” shape from top to bottom, and then side to side.  The tops of these brownies turn out a little light, so the pretty peanut butter swirls got a little lost unfortunately.  But they still tasted amazing!

7.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

8.  If you can…allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes before diving in.

Choco-holics unite! 

Rainy Day Cinnamon Raisin (Walnut) Bread

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Rainy Day Cinnamon Raisin (Walnut) Bread

It’s an awesome cloudy, semi-rainy day here in Phoenix.  We don’t get many, so I figured I’d take up mother nature and make some yummy Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  I’ll be honest – my ten year old self would have never attempted this recipe.  Holy prep-time Batman!  The dough has to rise a total of 3 times, but totally worth it – my 3 year old (and husband) couldn’t get enough 🙂

Cinnamon raisin walnut bread

The Recipe

2 cups milk

1 package active dry yeast

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 butter at room temperature

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added these to the recipe, well worth it!)

The (lengthy) Process:

1.  Pour the milk into the saucepan and place on the stove.  Heat milk over medium heat until it steams and bubbles form around the edge.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

2.  Place the yeast, 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix.  Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the cooled milk. Stir until a stiff dough forms.  Add in additional flour if needed.

3.  Flour a clean work surface.  Remove the dough and place on floured surface, sprinkle a little additional flour on top.

4.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, and then form into a ball.  The book goes into a length description about kneading, again, I’m going to assume we’re all adults here, if we’re not, here’s a great tutorial 😉

5.  Pour the oil into a large mixing bowl and spread around with a paper towel.  Place dough in the bowl and turn once to coat in oil.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot.  Allow dough to rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size)

6.  Remove the dough from the bowl and punch down.  Shape back into a ball and allow to rise (yet again) for 30 minutes.

7.  Rub some butter into the bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans (about 4″x 8″).

8.  Place 4 tablespoons of the butter,  the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon into a small mixing bowl and combine.  Takes a little effort, but it eventually comes together.

9.  When the dough has risen for the second time, sprinkle a clean surface with flour and move the dough to the surface.  Using your hands, flatten dough into a rectangle as thin as you can get it.

10.  Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, and then sprinkle with the raisins and walnuts (if using).

11.  Starting along one edge, roll the dough as tightly as you can (should make a very pretty spiral in the center).  Cut the dough in half to make 2 loafs and place seam-side down in the buttered pans.  Cover with the kitchen towel and (you guessed it) let the loaves rise for (another) 30 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F.

12.  Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter onto each loaf.  Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.  They give a great tip and say to bake until the bread sounds hollow when you lightly tap on it.

13.  Remove bread (don’t forget the mitts!!) and tip each loaf over to allow it to slide out of the pan.  Cool on a wire rack.

They suggested serving thick slices with cream cheese – but I though, why not take that a step further?  Enter…cinnamon cream cheese…oh yeah.  Seriously, you have to try it.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

I package softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

2-3 teaspoons brown sugar

Best rainy day ever!