Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cake

Last month has been quite a ride. Very, very hectic, but a lot of fun. My mom and her cousin had come down from Calcutta. Another cousin joined them from Hyderabad and together they parked themselves at a third cousin's place, who also happens to live here in Bangalore. To avoid confusion and make life easier for you, let me call them Masi B, Masi F and Masi J respectively. Now in the 2 months I had already stayed in Bangalore before this, Masi J had called me up numerous times to invite us over. But they live a whopping 30 km away from our place and P and I never have a day off together so that we can go over and spend the entire day. Going for half a day would be meaningless because...hello, Bangalore traffic! I think I was secretly waiting for Ma to come. I knew she'd be spending a few days there and that would be the perfect opportunity for me to plant myself at her place for those many days.
So we decided upon a Sunday to make our move. Masi J's daughter Cousin M, her husband S and their adorable little son would also be home. Early in the morning (which means 11 o'clock) we finally left for our dreaded journey. It almost felt like going on a picnic — you knew you'd be meeting your relatives after a long, long time and the very thought of what lay at the end of the journey added that bit of much-needed excitement! I took this Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cake for them. But after 8 hours or work, 3 hours of travelling and another hour of baking after coming back at 2, I had zero strength left in me to shoot it. Also, that it was pitch dark outside didn't help the cause. I earned some accolades there — those who had the cake were ... let's put it this way... quite impressed. I decided I must make it again, shoot it this time and share with you all. This was the second day that I was experimenting with the DSLR, and my focus was all over the place. I do understand this set of photographs is nothing short of cringeworthy, but I am trying to up my game and hopefully very soon will be able to do justice to the camera.

Serves: 8

Walnuts: 75 gm
Espresso powder/instant coffee granules (soaked in 2tbsp milk): 4 tsp
Caster sugar: 100 gm
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Flour: 100 gm
Butter, at room temperature: 75 gm
Olive oil: 30 ml
Eggs: 2
Baking powder: 1.5 tsp
Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
Milk: 3-4 tbsp + for soaking
Dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks: 100 gm

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a round baking tin with parchment and butter its sides.

2. In a blender, pulse finely the sugar and walnuts into a nutty rubble.

3. Now add the butter and oil and cream them with the sugar-nut mix. Add the eggs one by one and blend after each addition.

4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.

5. Pour this dry mixture into the liquid mixture in the blender and pulse until just combined. Add the coffee powder soaked in milk and pulse till smooth. Add a tbsp of milk at a time to loosen the consistency of the batter, if needed.

6. Pour the batter in the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes till a cake-tester comes out clean and the top is springy to touch.

7. Take the cake out of the oven and leave on the wire rack to cool for 20-30 minutes before unmoulding gently.

8. Have it with your evening cup of coffee. A little bit of coffee overdose never harmed anybody. Or did it?
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