Walnut and almond cake
( SERVES 10 )
There could be nothing more elegant for a winter birthday cake than this simple German recipe, based on a recipe in Cakes, by Barbara Maher (Penguin, 1982). You can vary the proportion of walnuts and almonds according to taste and availability.
|140 g||Ground almonds|
|1 Tbsp||Cocoa powder|
|180 g||Caster sugar|
- Preheat the oven to 175C. Take a 22cm-deep, round cake tin, preferably loose-bottomed or spring form. Lightly butter the inside and line the bottom with baking paper. Put the walnuts in a processor and pulse until they are reduced to fine granules. Mix with the ground almonds. Combine the breadcrumbs, cinnamon and cocoa in a small bowl. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks and whites into separate large bowls.
- Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry.
- Stir the nuts and the breadcrumb mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Then add a quarter of the whisked egg whites to lighten the mixture, before folding in the remaining egg whites until well mixed yet retaining as much air as possible. I use my hand for mixing.
- Scoop the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the middle of the cake is firm when gently pressed. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for a few minutes before turning out.
- To make the glaze, break the chocolate up into small pieces and put in a small bowl with the butter and coffee (strong hot coffee). Put the bowl over hot, but not boiling, water until the chocolate has almost melted. Remove the bowl from the water and stir to form a smooth glaze. Leave to cool until it is slightly thickened, then spread thinly over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with a ring of walnut halves pressed into the glaze.