If you're in the mood to use every appliance in the kitchen, here's an awesome one layer cake you can make with dates, walnuts and cocoa powder. Date Chocolate Walnut Cake, an old recipe from Cooking Light, is a one layer 9 inch cake that's much more than meets the eye. The dates, walnuts and coffee deliver a lot of flavor, plus the texture is interesting in that it's a bit crumbly and fudgey at the same time.
Now of course I was only kidding about using every appliance, but Date Chocolate Walnut Cake does require two. you'll need a food processor to pulverize the bread, walnuts and dates and an electric mixer to beat the egg whites. So there will be some extra dishes to wash, but washing dishes calms the mind, so it's all good.
You can make Date Chocolate Walnut Cake with walnuts pieces or use walnuts halves. In the original recipe they used ½ cup of walnut halves and reserved 10 to arrange in a circle on the top. That's how I did it the first time, but I think it makes sense to just use walnut pieces like above.
The chocolate frosting on this cake is surprisingly good, especially if you use high quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
Chocolate Walnut Cake
- ½ cup chopped pitted dates
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder
- ½ cup walnut halves toasted or use ⅔ cup walnut pieces, toasted
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour lightly spooned and swept
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 1-ounce slice firm white bread (I used rye)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar divided
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg whites
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup or Golden syrup or light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line with a round of wax or parchment paper. I like to use a 9 inch springform.
- Combine dates, cocoa, boiling water, and 1 teaspoon coffee granules or instant espresso powder; let stand 20 minutes.
- Reserve 10 of the walnut halves or about 2 T. of the walnut pieces. Combine remaining walnuts, flour and salt in bowl of food processor and process until fine. Pour flour mixture into a mixing bowl.
- Process the bread into crumbs, then add to the mixing bowl with the walnut/flour mixture.
- Place date mixture, ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar, oil, vanilla, and the one whole egg in food processor, and process until smooth, scraping the sides of bowl once. Pour the date mixture into bowl with flour mixture.
- In a clean mixing bowl beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of the egg white mixture into batter; Fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Remove the parchment. Cool completely on wire rack.
- To prepare glaze, combine ⅓ cup cocoa and the next 4 ingredients (cocoa through 1 teaspoon coffee granules), stirring until smooth. Stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla. Cover and chill for about an hour. Gradually add powdered sugar to the cocoa mixture, beating with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and thick.
- Place cake layer on a plate. Spread the glaze evenly over top and sides of cake and arrange walnut halves or sprinkle walnuts across top.