Walnut cake with cherries and bittersweet chocolate

Walnut cherry chocolate cake

Walnut cherry chocolate cake

Happy father’s day to all the fathers of the world! And in particular to my dad, (Dad) and also to David, the father of my children! You know how when you’re little you think your dad knows everything? Well, I’m nearly a million years old, and I still believe that about my dad. And I think my boys will always believe it about David, and they’ll be right. My dad is a historian, and when the world seems crazy he’s always been incredibly comforting to talk with. He understands the big patterns, he has a profound sense of balance and a strong core of peace and wisdom. And I’m so grateful to David for teaching our boys strength and compassion, curiosity and kindness, how to draw a rhinoceros and how to catch a tadpole.

So I apologize for the predictability of this, but this week’s interactive playlist will be on the subject of fathers and father’s fathers. Also acceptable, and probably more interesting…songs that remind you of your father. As ever, the list is interactive, so add what you like, or leave a comment and I’ll try to remember to add it later. (Though I haven’t been doing a very good job as list-curator lately!)

I made this cake with ground walnuts. It has a nice sweet earthy nuttiness. I put a layer of batter in the pan, and then I added some chopped fresh cherries and some bittersweet chocolate chips, and then I added another layer of batter. The batter itself has a little cinnamon and no leavening, I wanted it to be dense and almost pudding-y, and it was. I made it in my new little, tallish french cake pan, but you can use any cake pan that’s on the smaller side and it will work fine.

Here’s a link to the interactive playlist.


1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flour
4 T softened butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
handful of cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly butter and flour a smallish cake pan.

Process the walnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt and process until everything is fairly powdery.

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating very well until the batter is extra light and fluffy.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the cherries and chocolate chips over, and top with the rest of the batter, smoothing it over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool, and then turn out onto a pretty plate.

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