Walnut and espresso cake

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 12 people

This cake is adapted from a recipe in The Silver Spoon, the Italian cooking bible. The batter has an unusual consistency but you'll be pleasantly surprised by the result. The candied walnuts aren't essential, but they add great texture.

  • 220 gm (1 cup) raw caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated, plus 1 extra eggwhite
  • 130 gm walnuts, finely chopped
  • 100 gm plain flour, sieved
  •  
  • Candied walnuts
  • 40 gm walnut halves
  • 30 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 20 ml walnut liqueur, such as nocino
  •  
  • Walnut cream
  • 60 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 50 gm softened butter
  • 30 ml walnut liqueur, such as nocino
  •  
  • Espresso glaze
  • 200 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 tbsp espresso, at room temperature
  • 20 ml walnut liqueur, such as nocino
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk sugar and yolks in an electric mixer until very thick and pale and mixture resembles frosting (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl, stir in walnuts, then flour, a little at a time, to combine (mixture will be very stiff). Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (2-3 minutes), then stir half into walnut mixture. Fold through remaining eggwhite and spoon into a 17cm x 22cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake until light golden and firm to touch (20-25 minutes). Cool in pan, turn out, trim sides and halve horizontally.
02   Meanwhile, for candied walnuts, combine ingredients in a bowl, mix well, then spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake until walnuts are golden and caramelised (4-5 minutes), cool, then coarsely crumble.
03   For walnut cream, beat ingredients in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (6-8 minutes). Spread bottom half of cake with walnut cream, sandwich with top half and set aside to set (20-30 minutes).
04   For espresso glaze, place icing sugar in a bowl, gradually add espresso and liqueur, mixing until smooth and combined. Spoon glaze over cake, allowing it to drizzle down sides, and scatter with candied walnuts. Cake is best eaten on day of making.

Topics:

BAKING, WALNUTS, COFFEE, ITALIAN, DESSERT, AUTUMN

Recipe:

EMMA KNOWLES

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ AND EMMA KNOWLES

FEATURED IN

May 2010

May 2010

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