Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Surprise snack....

Since we are going to be getting in pretty late night, I thought I would use the time on the plane from Minneapolis to DC to write up a post on a snack cake we made just before we left. I wanted to surprise Jeff with a snack from home for him to enjoy on the plane ride to MN and since he likes the flavor espresso gives in baked goods, I picked this recipe.

Espresso-Walnut Cake is pretty quick to throw together since you melt the butter in the same bowl you end up mixing the batter in. A sweet streusel mixture is first made from toasted crunchy walnuts, strong Vietnamese cinnamon and a bit of espresso powder. This combination is split in half and layered in the middle and scattered on top before baking. As I was spreading the batter in the baking dish, it seemed pretty thin and I was wondering how I would end up getting the top layer on without disturbing the middle streusel layer. So instead of pouring the other half on top, I dropped dollops of batter all over and then used an off-set spatula to connect the dots. This worked pretty well and the layers did not mix too much. It did not seem to fill that pan too much, but as the cake baked, it rose up quite a bit higher than I thought it would.

Since Jeff did not know I was making this, I had to play his usual part of "Quality Control" and see if it passed his standards. Hee hee! As I plunged my fork through the first piece, I was able to see just how moist and tender the cake was. The combination of the sweet nutty streusel inside and on top made the difference. The subtle coffee flavor was just right and did not overwhelm even though we used the full tablespoon of powder as the recipe called for. This "coffee" cake would be a great addition to a brunch table or even a quick bite for an on-the-go breakfast.


  1. this looks so yummy!
    I'm going to try it with almonds and some the the ceylon cinnamon I bought from Penzeys.

    Homemade treats in the middle of a cross-country move--you're awesome Joe!

  2. Yum!So many recipes,so little time.

  3. Stacey - Let me know how the ceylon cinnamon works!

    Emily - Thanks!