Walnut and almond cake
There could be nothing more elegant for a winter birthday cake than this simple German recipe by Lois Daish, 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.
|110 g||Walnuts, freshly cracked, New Zealand ones are best|
|140 g||Ground almonds|
|1 Tbsp||Cocoa powder|
|180 g||Caster sugar|
Glaze and garnish
- Heat the oven to 175C. Grease and line a 22cm spring-form cake tin.
- Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until they are reduced to fine granules. Mix with the ground almonds, breadcrumbs, cinnamon and cocoa.
- 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 nut mix in to the yolk mixture then add a quarter of the whisked egg whites to lighten the mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white until well mixed, yet retaining as much air as possible.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until the middle of the cake is firm when 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. 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