Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Nordic Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing #FoodieExtravaganza

Nordic Walnut Cake is loaded with finely chopped walnuts that, along with the butter, give it a lovely richness. It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. 

So what’s Nordic about this Nordic Walnut Cake? Our Foodie Extravaganza host, Laura of Baking in Pyjamas set us a theme of Midsummer Eve Desserts this month, which made me think of the northern European celebrations around the time of the summer solstice. A quick search revealed many traditional recipes from countries that celebrate, including Sweden and the like.

I decided on this walnut cake from a website called Nordic Recipe Archive for two reasons. First, the method of making the batter by mixing the other ingredients and then folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites intrigued me. I wondered if a batter filled with chopped walnuts could be lightened. I've baked with ground nuts before and the result is always a dense, rich cake. Secondly, that coffee icing! I am a sucker for all things coffee. I’m not much of a sweet eater, but add coffee and I’ll give your cake a chance.

This cake did not disappoint on either promise. While still rich, the walnut cake is much lighter than my other bakes with ground nuts. And I could have eaten that very simple coffee icing with a spoon!

For the cake:
2/3 cup or 150g butter plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup 132g sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3 1/2 oz or 100g shelled walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 83g flour plus more for coating the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the coffee icing:
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup or 95g icing sugar

For garnish:
2 1/2 oz or 70g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf pan by buttering it and then coating with lightly with flour.

Use a food processor to finely chop the walnuts for the cake batter.

Melt the butter and the sugar in a small pot over a low heat. Gently bring the mixture to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continually. Do not let it brown or burn. At first the butter doesn't seem to want to mix in but just keep stirring. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. We are going to be mixing the egg yolks in and you don't want them to cook upon contact.

Use hand held beaters or your stand mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks and the vanilla extract in the sugar-butter mixture.

Mix in the finely chopped nuts.

Then the flour mixed with the salt and baking powder.

Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the batter a dollop at a time.

Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove it to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the icing:
Melt the butter, milk and instant coffee in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.

Whisk until smooth.

Pour the icing over the cake on a serving plate. Top with the chopped walnuts while the icing is still soft. They set and stick as it hardens.


Many thanks to Laura for this challenge. I’ve got to say that I have found a new favorite cake! I ate several slices before I finally shared with my neighbor and send the rest home with my mom.

Check out the rest of our Midsummer Desserts:

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Roasted Peach and Bacon Muffins #MuffinMonday

Roasted peach and bacon muffins are sort of sweet and sort of savory, really the best of both worlds. 

It’s Muffin Monday again! And also Memorial Day in the United States, which is the day we remember and honor those who have died in active service in any branch of the United States military. Many families take advantage of the three-day weekend to gather for reunions or to hold family celebrations. And, of course, this time of year is also all about graduations and graduation parties. So many opportunities to bake and share muffins with your friends and loved ones!

If you are a fan of sweet and salty treats, you are going to love these roasted peach and bacon muffins. Don’t forget to scroll down to see all the other bacon and peach wonderfulness that my fellow Muffin Monday bakers are sharing. We didn’t plan the theme but after everyone else had added their titles to our group, I was motivated to create a muffin that would fit in.

6 slices thick cut streaky bacon
2 peaches – just ripe but not soft
Pinch flakey sea salt
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
1/3 cup or 66g brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 180 ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml bacon fat (rendered from frying the bacon) plus extra for greasing pan (or use butter or oil)
2 large eggs

Fry the bacon slices until crispy and remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Leave the bacon fat in the pan to cool.

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Cut your peaches in half and remove the pits. Slice them in wedges.

Place the wedges on a baking pan. Use a spoon to drizzle some bacon fat over each peach wedge. Sprinkle them with a pinch of flakey sea salt.

Roast in your preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes and then turn the wedges over and roast for a further 5 minutes.

After turning them over.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. They are going to be pretty soft at this point. Use a metal spatula to scrape them up. Reduce heat of the oven to 350°F or 180°C.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Chop the peaches and the bacon into pieces, setting aside 12 bits of each for topping the muffins before baking.

Add your chopped peaches to the flour and use a fork to mix them in and separate them from each other, coating them with flour.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, bacon fat and eggs.

Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture.

Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened. There should still be some flour showing. Then fold in your bigger pile of bacon.

Generously grease cups (I used bacon grease but you can use oil or butter) and top of 12-cup muffin pan.

Divide your batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Top each with a piece of the reserved bacon and roasted peaches.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from pan.


If you are a fan of bacon or peaches, this is going to be your favorite Muffin Monday so far! Check out all the great combinations we have for you this month.

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Coronation Chicken Deviled Eggs

These coronation chicken deviled eggs combine the British classic coronation chicken salad with the American classic deviled eggs for a cross-cultural potluck dish that is sure to please on both sides of the Atlantic.

Not familiar with Coronation Chicken? Read my post all about it here.

A number of weeks ago we were invited to a Champagne tasting at a friend’s home. He holds them about once a year, quite casual evenings with good food and good friends. We taste and rate the various Champagnes – the theme this time was rosé - first with appetizers and then we drink the balance of the many bottles with our meal. Of course, my first question is always, “What can I bring?” When the response came back “appetizers,” I knew I wanted to make deviled eggs but not plain Jane ones. Something unusual but still delicious. Where I come from we put eggs in both our chicken salad and tuna salad so adding eggs to coronation chicken seemed like a fine idea. And making it all into something handheld like deviled eggs was ideal for appetizers.

This week my Sunday Supper family are sharing our best recipes for a potluck so those coronation chicken deviled eggs came to mind. Like all deviled eggs, they are the perfect dish to bring along to share with friends and family. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom to see our wonderful link list of all of our best potluck recipes. Many thanks to our host today, T.R. of Gluten-free Crumbley!

For the deviled eggs:
10 eggs
1/2 cup or 70g chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons curry powder, plus a little to sprinkle for garnish
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon spicy chutney
1/2 tart apple
Good squeeze lemon juice (to keep the apple from browning)
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils, plus extra for garnish

For garnish:
Curry powder
A little chopped parsley
Extra pomegranate arils

In a pan where they can sit in in one layer, cover the eggs with cool water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, remove it from the stove and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Drain and cover the eggs with more cool water.

When they are cool enough to handle, peel the eggs. Cut them in half and put the yolks in a mixing bowl. Cover the whites with cling film so they don’t dry out, and refrigerate them.

Use a fork to mash the egg yolks until they are a fine crumble.

Add the chicken, salt and curry powder to the egg yolks and mix well.

Add three tablespoons of mayonnaise, two tablespoons of Greek yogurt and one of spicy chutney to the egg mixture. Mix well again.

If the mixture seems dry, add the final tablespoons of mayo and yogurt. Mix again.

This looks about right!

Squeeze some lemon juice into a small bowl. Peel and dice your half apple, pushing the pieces off the cutting board and into the lemon juice as you cut so they don’t turn brown.

Add your apple and pomegranate to the mixture and, you guessed it, mix well.

Lay your egg whites out in a serving dish.

Spoon the egg mixture into the egg whites or put it into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner so you can squeeze the filling into the whites.

Decorate them with a sprinkling more of curry powder, some pomegranate arils and some chopped parsley.


How many invitations do you have for potluck get-togethers this summer? I hope you didn't answer too many, because we've got you today covered with 47 recipes perfect for potlucks.

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