2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Blend together in a large bowl.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add and beat with mixer for 2 minutes.
4 egg whites
Add and beat two minutes.
1 cup black walnuts, chopped
Fold in nuts. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 35 minutes.
For the icing, I used a simple whipped cream icing, but this would be delicious with just about anything, even chocolate.
Someone asked if they could use regular walnuts and black walnut flavored extract. I don't see why not, though my whole purpose in making this cake was to use the nuts we carefully gathered from our black walnut tree. If you don't have access to a tree, look around- some parks have them. And if you do not want to buy the prohibitively expensive black walnut, then give the extract a try. Just let us know how it worked!
Some of you have written to ask about the whole black walnut harvesting process. It is shown with pictures on my old blog here and an update on the cracking process here.
Some things to consider:
- It's hard, messy work.
- You need to invest in a black walnut cracker (between $40-$50) which is a long device that you attach to a board. Even then, the bw's are still too difficult to crack so plan on enlisting help from your husband or another strong young man. Other than that, you just need some rubber gloves, netting, and a cool dark place to cure them.
- It is time consuming. With two people, it takes about 2 hours to crack a hundred nuts, which equals about a cup and a half of nut meat. Doesn't sound like much reward, does it?
- It's not exactly a child-friendly activity, so don't have any ideas about enlisting the whole family. You don't want children around while you are running over the husks with your car, you don't want the children to get any of the juice on their hands or clothes because it doesn't just stain, it is a stain. Finally, you need a keen eye to separate the shells from the meat in the painstaking separating process.
- But it sure does taste good!