Walnut Cake with Roasted Blackberries

Fruit and nut pairings have been around since….well, since fruit and nuts.  Not my most profound statement, but it is a tasty one.  One of my favorites has always been blackberries and walnuts.  I use them together in my Blackberry Buckle.  I wanted to find another way to use them that would be even better.  I’m glad to say I found it.  Looking at a poppy seed cake recipe with yogurt gave me the idea.  Make a few changes to make it a Walnut Cake and add lemon yogurt along with coconut.  Top it not just with blackberries, but roasted blackberries.  Roasting fruit does wonderful things to it.  Check out my Roasted Strawberries.

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I’ve been a bit overloaded as of late at work and not the easiest person to live with as a result.  My family has not complained and been very supportive.  Poor guys…. So I wanted to let them know that I (really) appreciated that they had not locked me in the closet…not even once!  They needed the kind of thank you that only men can appreciate properly….Dessert!

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I have bought blackberries at least 3 times lately thinking I would do something nice….only to end up not doing it and we just ate them “as is”.  Now that’s not a bad thing….you know what I’m trying to say?  This time would be different!

It turned out wonderful.  My son gave it a ten!  (on a scale that only goes to ten)  And it’s not the kind of cake that is very bad for you.  But it TASTES like it is so bad for you.  To be made again soon….

You’ll need:

for the roasted blackberries:

1 lb fresh blackberries

4 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs fruity olive oil

pinch of salt

a dribble of balsamic vinegar (the best you can afford)

for the cake:

2 large eggs

1 cup raw sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 scant cup of walnut, broken into small pieces

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

less than 1/2 tsp fine grain salt

6 oz Noosa Lemon yogurt (not fat free)

White chocolate shavings (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Rinse berries and halve the large ones.  Place a piece of parchment paper over a rimmed baking sheet so that it is bigger than the pan it’s covering.  In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, olive oil and salt together.  It will thicken.  Pour over the berries and toss to coat.  Pour berries onto parchment paper and place in oven for 45 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Lift the paper and carefully pour the berries, liquid and all back into the original bowl.  Be sure to get as much of the liquid as possible.  Sprinkle a bit of “good” balsamic vinegar on the berries and stir.  Use warm or refrigerate for later use.

While the berries roast, prepare the cake.  Grease and flour a 10 inch spring-form pan.  In a small bowl combine walnuts, coconut, flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In your mixer’s bowl, combine eggs and sugar.  Beat for 5 minutes until sugar is well incorporated.  Add oil and mix for a minute more.  Add yogurt and mix again.  Add the flour mix and beat until just combined.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes until nicely golden and  a toothpick inserted in the center removes clean.  Cool for 15 minutes before rimming edge and removing outer ring.  Slice cake and serve with roasted berries.  Garnish with white chocolate shavings.  Enjoy!

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