Nigella Lawson's Technical Trick For The Best Coffee And Walnut Cake

It's no secret that coffee and walnut cake are a match made in heaven. The satisfying contrast of flavor between the airy crunch of walnuts and the sweetened coffee aftertaste makes for a wonderful afternoon snack. Or, because of its typical drink pairing with coffee, walnut cake joins the ranks of other breakfast desserts as a delightful start to the day.

Like any cake, it's typically made by simply throwing solid ingredients (in this case walnuts) in with your usual assortment of eggs, milk, flour, and so on. But, in Nigella's Coffee Walnut Cake recipe, the walnuts need to be ground with sugar in a food processor before the other ingredients are added. It's an innovative twist because it creates a seamless texture void of large walnut pieces accompanying every bite. It's a more subtle approach that highlights how the smallest modification can drastically change the outcome of a recipe.

Lawson's food processor trick has endless applications

Nigella Lawson's use of the food processor to further pulverize walnuts is innovative, not just for this recipe, but for any that depend on some kind of nut for texture. Nuts are stubborn ingredients so even after pulverizing into the mix you'll still get a cloud-light crunch as well as notes of flavor throughout more of the cake. A carrot cake recipe, for instance, could have a bigger emphasis on the icing with a process like this without omitting walnuts. Raisins and other stickier ingredients that don't reduce well into powder would have the full volume of your cake to contribute to instead of sharing space with chunks of nuts.

Lawson's food processor method of grinding the solid ingredients first with sugar before adding the rest is simple but endlessly applicable — from cakes to Cuban croquettes to biscotti. The prospect of experimenting with powdered ingredients to create more real estate within a wide range of recipes is an exciting one.