Walnut

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Meet chocolate Bundt cake. The lighter version of it, to be exact. Just the right amount of sweetness, lighter than  its regular not-so-light cousin, still moist enough (don’t expect it to be super moist though) and delicious. I’ve made this cake several times already – always a hit with the family. The recipe is open to your imagination too. Love walnuts? Add some to the batter. Love chocolate? Add  chocolate chips. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend, guys.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Getting the cake batter ready.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

My Bundt pan is a bit big for the amount of batter I have, but,  it worked just fine and it’s all that matters.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

The cake is ready!

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Slice it and enjoy. Look at those crunchy walnuts! Love them in the cake.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2002 (original recipe by Alice Medrich)

A few notes before we begin baking.

1. Once, when I didn’t have espresso powder at hand, I simply omitted it. Added chunks of walnuts (big pieces!) instead. Another time, I had the espresso and used it. You can use the walnuts in both variations. I personally love the crunch they add to the cake. In both cases I increased the amount of sugar a little, as it is a bit bland with the suggested original amount.

2. The original recipe calls for drizzling the cake with chocolate syrup before serving. I go without it. Just a light dust of powdered sugar is great for me. Your decision, of course.

3. The recipe calls for using a small 6-cup Bundt pan or a 9-inch round baking pan. I used a standard size 9-cup Bundt pan instead. Worked perfectly fine.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 +1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 teaspoons instant espresso granules (you can omit if not available)
1 +1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup chunks of walnut (keep them big for crunch; can substitute with chocolate chips)
Cooking spray, for greasing the Bundt pan
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Add the butter, egg whites, and egg. Beat with a mixer at low speed 1 minute. Beat at high speed 1 minute. Add the milk, espresso granules, and vanilla; beat 1 minute. Add the walnuts and stir to combine. Pour the batter into a 6- or 9-cup Bundt pan (or a 9-inch wound baking pan) coated with cooking spray.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack then dust with powdered sugar.

Walnut-Stuffed Roast Turkey a.k.a Turkey Levengi

Walnut-Stuffed Roast Turkey a.k.a Turkey Levengi

Walnut-Stuffed Turkey

The roast turkey in the picture above is what I made for this year’s Thanksgiving table. Stuffed with a delicious walnuts filling. I am sharing this recipe now, post-Thanksgiving because I strongly believe that things delicious could and should be made for any festive occasion. This turkey, for example, is a perfect fit for a Christmas or New Year’s eve celebration table, if you did not make turkey a part of your Thanksgiving feast.

Walnut-Stuffed Turkey

I stuffed my turkey with a walnut filling. The filling is called levengi (alternative spelling: lavangi). It is a traditional Azerbaijani filling that hails from the Southeast of the country. The formula is simple: ground walnuts + grated and dry-squeezed onion pulp + sour paste (paste obtained from cooking down grated pulp of sour plums or cornelian cherries).  Such a simple combination yet the flavor palette it yields is amazing. Rich, moist, tangy, sweet, exotic. Poultry, game, or fish, and even eggplant stuffed with the levengi filling is also called levengi. So this roast turkey would be called turkey levengi.

Most of the time, in place of sour paste I use pomegranate syrup in the stuffing. Honestly, I like the levengi with pomegranate syrup more than with sour paste. The syrup adds both a nice tang and a subtle, very subtle sweetness to the filling. Delicious! I’ll show you how to make this filling – super easy!

I hope you try this recipe and make turkey levengi a part of your holiday table. From my kitchen to yours, shared with love. Happy Holidays once again!

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