After a wonderful afternoon baking brownies at my friends house, I ended up with a whole bag of walnuts that she didn't want and figured would be more likely to be used by me. She couldn't be more right. Nuts are great to just have on hand because they last for months on end and also add flavour and texture to whatever your adding to. For example, you can't make a carrot cake without walnuts (well you can, it just won't be AS good) and walnuts are an excellent addition to brownies!!
Note: I always buy plain flour rather than self raising, as plain flour is more versatile. So if you urge to bake a cake, and only have plain flour, just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to every 1 cup of plain flour to make self-raising flour. But if want to make cookies (or something that doesn't require any rise) you just use good ol' plain flour. You can't (that I know of) turn self raising flour into plain flour.
Walnut and Chocolate Cake - I adapted the cake recipe from the Rich Chocolate Cake recipe on Taste.com.
- 1 1/2 cup Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
- 200g butter, softened and cubed
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup thickened cream (or milk)
- block chocolate to curl or shave for decoration on top of final cake (optional)
- 1/2 cup of strong coffee (1/2 cup boiling water + 2 tablespoons of instant coffee)
- 1/2 cup of walnuts chopped in smallish chunks
Icing + Filling
- 100g butter
- 1 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1/2 cup Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
- 1 tablespoon cream (or milk)
- 3 teaspoons of cocoa.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 whole strawberries (sliced)
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base and side of a 6cm deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Add eggs, 1 at a time.
- Add chocolate syrup and beat until well combined.
- Place flour and cocoa together and using a balloon whisk, whisk until combined. This action is like sifting the flour and cocoa together. I like using this way because it's easier and quicker.
- Fold half of the flour mixture into butter mixture and add half the cream.
- Repeat and finish off what's remaining of flour mixture and cream.
- Add the coffee mixture slowly and in seperate intervals, folding inbetween each interval.
- Add walnuts and give it a quick mix, to just combine the walnuts into the batter.
- Halve the batter and spoon into prepared pans. (Note: Grease pans with butter and line the bottom with baking paper. There a really easy way to line a circular tin, but I'll have to make a video to show you. Really difficult to explain in words..haha..or you can trace the circumference of the pan on to the baking paper to get it exact and cut it out.)
- Baking time depends on deep the batter sits in the pan. Because mine were one about 5 cms deep, I only had to bake it for about 15-20 mins. Just keep an eye on it and test it with a skewer, inserting into the centre until it comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or if you're slightly impatient like me, I put my cakes into the freezer for about 10 - 15 minutes, until it had completely cooled. Works a treat!
- To make icing, cream the butter until there are no lumps. Add icing sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time.
- To this add cream, chocolate syrup, vanilla essence and cocoa, beating well until all ingredients are combined.
- To assemble, spread icing on one side of on cake, and place strawberries to cover the entire surface.
- Place the remaining cake on the top and ice the entire cake.
- Chill in the fridge for about 30 mins
- Sprinkle chocolate shavings on the top if desired, to serve.