This has to be one of my favorite cakes... I have not made it in a while but I came across this photo from the last time I did and thought "I must celebrate this wonderful walnut cake today." I only just read that walnuts are actually harvested in August so it is appropriate, me thinks!
As many of you know, I often experiment with substituting with gluten-free flours. Well, this cake is NOT one of those. Perhaps why I like this one despite it's white flour is because there is not a huge amount in it. Granted if you are gluten-intolerant than this cake will not be for you. But hey, I still may experiment with a gluten-free flour option for this cake at some point.
One of the reasons I love this cake - aside from the fact that it originates from Italy and it's deliciousness - is that it calls for walnuts and walnut oil. Walnuts are a wonderful nutrient, kernels chock full of goodness in the way of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E and several of the B-complex vitamins. Apparently, since ancient times walnuts have been viewed as a symbol of intellectual strength. If you have ever looked at an intact walnut, they actually even look like a human brain! Don't you feel smarter already and you haven't even tasted the cake?
If I still have your interest, read on for the recipe.
Serves 6-8 people.
Adapted from Stacey Snacks - apparently this was a recipe from Domineca Cooks for a hazelnut cake originally (which also would be delicious)! If you are a fan of Italian cooking, you may want to check out the Domineca Cooks website too!
• 2- 1/2 cups of walnuts, lightly toasted
• 6 T. of melted butter w/2 T. walnut oil
• 4 eggs, separated
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup flour
• 2 tsp. of baking powder
• pinch of salt
• confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9" springform cake pan with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and coat the parchment with butter. Set the remaining melted butter aside.
Process the cooled toasted nuts in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until they are ground - but only coarsely. It is important to not over pulse them as they will start to become mushy. Transfer them to a bowl and stir in the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar. Drizzle in the remaining melted butter and nut oil, a little at a time, mixing all the while, until the butter has been fully incorporated.
Using a spatula, stir the walnut-flour mixture into the egg yolk-butter mixture.
In a cold bowl, beat the egg white to form stiff peaks. Mix in 1/4 cup of the egg white mixture, to loosen up the batter, then carefully, fold in the rest of the whites. The batter will be thick but spreadable. Using the silicone spatula, spread batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden. Let rest 30 minutes in the cake tin, then unmold the sides. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, whipped cream and/or ice cream and enjoy!