We decided to forego the butter cream cheese frosting, which might make a big difference in the whole experience, but at our house we tend to like naked cakes. When a cake is left unfrosted, it offers more options. You can eat it for breakfast, dessert, with ice cream, or, as my husband sometimes does, in a bowl with milk poured on it (that is just wrong!).
I remember the first time I had cake for breakfast. I was ten years old. My father was about to retire from the army and we were staying in transit billets in Germany, waiting for our flight back to the U.S. after a year in Ludwigsburg. I guess there wasn't much in the way of kitchen facilities, but there was a kind of vending machine that sold chocolate and yellow marble cake slices. My mother let us eat the cake for breakfast. A new tradition was born!
Black Walnut Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups butter or shortening or half of each
3 eggs, separated
2 cups flour (I replaced about 1/3 cup with whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk (recipe calls for whole, but I used 2%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped black walnuts
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream sugar and butter/shortening until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks to mixture and beat until well blended.
In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add alternately with milk to the sugar mixture. Mix in vanilla and chopped black walnuts.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
|batter ready for egg whites to be incorporated and batter ready to go into the oven|
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and center of cake springs back when touched lightly with your finger.
Cool in pan on cooling rack 10 minutes. Loosen edges with knife. Remove from pan.
Black walnuts have a strong flavor, so this cake wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's something different and a good use for those walnuts that litter my yard every autumn!