Recipe Contest Venetian Walnut Cake

Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 08:48 pm
I have entered recipes sparely or not at all to the contest because I tend to try recipes of various reputed excellent cooks and stick with the ones I winnow out to be loved, although I make my own adaptations. I have thought it unfair to post Marcella Hazan's Bolognese ragu, for example, as an entry.

But now, maybe you will accept a chocolate cake I dearly love, that is in a little book by Betty Evans, called Venice Cooking with Betty Evans. She is a friend. She and her husband lived in Rome for a while, as he pursued an artist's life, before buckling down to working in the aircraft industry in California. Everywhere they lived, she listened and cooked; she teaches cooking at her wonderful house in Hermosa Beach, California. (a small house with, in the back yard, italian cypress in two rows pruned up to have an overhead trellis under them, a bed of gravel underneath, and picnic tables.. grape vines grow over the trellises...

I will just copy what she says. Trust me, she'd be delighted. If you have any interest in printing it, I'll call her.

Chocolate and Walnut Cake

Italian cakes are flatter than American cakes. There are flavorful and smaller slices are served. This cake is quite simple to make. You do need a spring form pan. These pans are available at any kitchen store and handy for many things. (osso - I know it has worked in one of those bundt pans, though springform is better..)

1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate (3 squares) (osso, if you only have 2, it's fine)
3/4 cup of strong coffee (osso, I have added different things here, including - I can barely remember this, maybe just some ground coffee and water. I usually add some espresso coffee liquid. Really, whatever....)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoon rum (osso - now here you can have fun, I have tried damn near anything)
2 cups/flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chopped walnuts (I am sure I have played with adding less or other nuts; the walnuts are particularly good)

Cream the butter with the sugar. Melt the chocolate in the coffee. Cool slightly. Add to the butter sugar mixture. Beat in the eggs and rum. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to the batter along with the chopped walnuts. Place in a 10" spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes until firm. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Sometimes whipped cream is spread on top. This will serve eight.

(osso) For me this is a typical not too sweet and yet flavorful italian dessert.

I think if the chocolate is of a lovely quality, the nuts are not very old, the eggs are fresh, the rum or cognac or whatever is not vile, you don't pull it out burned, this will be a delicious cake. Not for children, not sweet enough for most US children.
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 09:03 pm
Osso....that sounds delicious, and I may remind you, a published recipe including your own adaptations counts as an original :wink: Marcella's ragu is awesome...but I too, have my variations. Go for it!
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 09:20 pm
I agree completely with Cav,..on this recipe and about adaptations.

There really aren't too many completely original recipes popping up, most are one's vision of an existing recipe! Very Happy
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 11:41 pm
Walnuts have always been my favorite nut. We'll have to give this recipe a try.
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 11:47 pm
It's simple and good, and once you get used to it...well, I don't cry for chocolate death any more, I like this level of flavor...

I seem to have skipped anything about putting butter and flour on the pan...but yes, I do that.
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