Monday, July 26, 2010

Walnut Cake

My husband loves desserts. He could eat dessert at every meal. He never seems to gain an ounce. Sometimes life just isn't fair!!

Andrew is an excellent baker. He's fearless in trying new things and he rarely wants my help/input. That doesn't stop me from trying at times. When we are having dinner guests, he's usually up for making a spectacular final course. This walnut cake was no exception. It's rich, yet amazingly light in texture.

L.A. Times + Andrew

3 cups walnuts
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
zest of 1 orange
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 tsp dry sherry
1 tsp powdered sugar

Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, grind the walnuts until fine. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the nuts to sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Combine the flour and baking powder and stir into the remaining walnuts until evenly mixed.

Beat the egg yolks until well blended, then gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is light and the eggs form a ribbon when dropped from the beaters. Stir in the orange zest and the ground walnut mixture.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the walnut mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the reserved walnuts.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes until puffed and browned. Remove to wire rack to cool. As it cools, it will settle and be slightly higher around the sides.

Combine the whipped cream and sherry. Sift the powdered sugar through a small strainer into the whipped cream and stir until blended.

Serve with a dollop of the sherry whipped cream.