Friday, December 11, 2009
Walnut Brandy Cake
‘Tis the season for festive cakes that showcase lots of nuts and dried fruits and spice. These are the kinds of cakes that date back to ancient times. For those who don’t care for the standard seasonal fruitcake fare, this is a nice substitute when you want something festive but not fussy or too heavy. With so many things to accomplish in the days ahead, a few simple and basic ingredients plus the addition of brandy make this a snap to put together and serve or present as a gift to your favorite host or hostess.
- Toast the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until they are only slightly darkened and give off a toasty aroma.
- If you’re not a fan of walnuts, substitute toasted almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.
Walnut Brandy Cake
6 oz butter
1 C sugar
3 eggs @ room temperature
1/4 C milk @ room temperature
3 T brandy
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 C coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2” loaf pan with oil and a piece of parchment paper large enough to form an overhang along the length of the pan.
Toast and coarsely chop the walnuts.
Cream butter and gradually beat in sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure that each one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Combine milk, brandy and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Alternate adding a third of the flour to the butter and eggs with 1/2 milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Once all the ingredients are in, mix just a minute or so then finish the mixing by hand. Fold in walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the cake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until it tests done.
Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove it from the pan and cool the cake completely. Peel off the paper and dust the top with confectioners' sugar.