Thursday, December 18, 2014

Portuguese Sweet Walnut Bread

Portuguese Sweet Walnut Bread
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 202.

A very addictive dessert that is not too sweet. The mellow flavor of the cake nicely compliments the walnuts, which are generous. The texture of the cake is really interesting, almost cornbread-like. This is great with a cup of coffee or tea. Very easy to make! It makes a beautiful loaf and cuts neatly with very few crumbs.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. mace
3/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter 
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 cups walnuts, cut in large pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a loaf pan (8 cup capacity) and dust with fine, dry bread crumbs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, mace and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter to soften and add the vanilla and sugar.

Add the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
Add the flour mixture, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the lemon zest.
Stir in the nuts.
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Use the back of a spoon and lightly press a line down the middle, forming a slight trench. This will keep it from mounding too high during baking.
Bake for 65-70 minutes (top of cake will bounce back when lightly pressed). Let it cool in the pa for 15 minutes before turning it out to cool completely on a rack.

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