WALNUT CAKE (in a food processor)
from Nona Glazer of Portland, OR
7 tablespoons butter (left at room temperature a couple of hours before baking to soften) plus more for greasing the pan.
1 cup flour
1/2 pound walnuts (or almonds or a nut you think would make a kind of flour)
1 egg, large (I have thought of trying 2, or just 1 additional white to make the cake more moist)
2 tablespoons rum (The day after I made the cake, I poked holes with a fork in the cake, but I shouldn't have gone all the way through to the bottom. I poured rum into the cake then since I didn't have any until I got Carola’s; in place of the liquid from run, I had added a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of water when I baked it. I think the rum helped make it more moist.)
Grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 325°
Toast the walnuts at 325° for about 5 minutes. After walnuts are out of the oven, raise oven temperature to 350’. Butter and flour your springform pan. I always use parchment paper, buttered on both sides so that the cake comes out easily. You can probably do the same with wax paper. Also, the recipe calls for an 8 inch pan but I always use a 9 inch one since I am not a pan collector.
Cool walnuts; use one TB sugar to grind them in food processor to fine granules; don’t grind so long you make powder. Pour into a small bowl. Do not be tempted to add additional nuts, as I have done so — the cake comes out much too dry. I usually never follow the recipe when it comes to nuts or fruit, but this one does have to be followed. I think it could actually take a small amount of additional liquid — maybe even rum!
Cream together butter & rest of sugar until quite creamy; add eggs, rum, lemon zest and baking powder; pulse until well mixed. Place in a medium size mixing bowl.
Gently fold the walnuts into the butter-sugar mix; use a sifter to add the flour bit by bit, folding the flour in. Pour the batter into your pan and level.
Bake in upper third or middle of oven. After 30 minutes, test with a toothpick or whatever you use to test for the doneness of cake. If it is clean, the cake is done; if not, bake 5 minutes or so more, and retest. I increase the additional baking time in small units, since over baking is a no,no.
Important: Watch carefully to avoid over baking!
Remove ring from pan after it has cooled a bit. Take two plates; place one on top of the cake, turn the plate and cake over; remove bottom of pan and the parchment paper; place another plate on top of the cake, turn it upside down to get the good looking side on top. Cover with the second plate. Turn upside down. Your company sees the nice top of the cake rather than the unattractive bottom. I keep two special plates set aside for cakes made in springform pans, just for this aesthetic.
The cake mellows over 24 hours, so make it the day before you plan to serve it. It is even better on the third day: I took home a piece from a gathering, and enjoyed it more than on its second day though I lacked the ice cream.
Good with ice cream!