Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Winter Cake

When most were making their new year's resolutions with dieting right at the top of the list,
I resolved to ask The Baker to do an encore of this cake for my birthday.
I will ask that it be decorated with flowers.

It seems that we've both been in the kitchen quite a bit over the last two weeks.
We enjoyed every minute of it.
Well, to be honest, the cleanup wasn't always so enjoyable.
The planning, preparation and execution was very nice.

Stefan and Elyssa arrived the afternoon of Christmas Eve.
It seems that might be the day to fly.  
We enjoyed a delicious seafood soup that evening.
In the excitement of having them here, I forgot to get a photo.
I will share the recipe soon.

We invited friends over for Christmas day lunch.
Then we all enjoyed gathering by the fire and catching up.

Adam arrived on the afternoon of December 27.
We again celebrated Christmas Eve
and Christmas Day.

And, as promised, here's the recipe for the cake.

It seems long and involved but it isn't.
The only "technique" involved is the folding of egg whites into batter.

For the cake, The Baker worked with a recipe from the Chicago Tribune.
The buttercream filling is from "Simca's Cuisine" by Simone Beck.
The ganache is from The Baker.

It is delicious in any season and I hope you'll give it a try.

The Winter Cake from the Chicago Tribune, Simca and The Baker

3/4 pound of walnuts (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
zest of 1 orange

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Lightly butter the paper.  Set aside.
3.  Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine.  Combine the flour and baking powder and stir into the walnuts until evenly mixed.
4.  Beat the egg yolks until well-blended, then gradually beat in the 1/2 cup of sugar.  Continue beating until the mixture is light and lemon-colored and forms a ribbon when dropped from a spoon.  Stir in the orange zest.  Stir in the walnut mixture.
5.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of 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.
6.  Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  As the cake cools, it will settle somewhat.

Meanwhile, prepare:  Mocha Butter Cream

2 egg yolks
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp powdered instant coffee
1 1/2 Tbsp rum
1/4 pound butter

1.  Put the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is a pale creamy yellow.  
2.  Set the bowl over simmering water and continue to beat until the mixture has thickened.
3.  Dissolve the instant coffee into the rum.  Blend thoroughly into the egg mixture and remove from the heat.  Add the butter by bits, waiting until each piece of butter has been thoroughly incorporated before adding the next.  Refrigerate to firm the butter cream but not to harden it completely.

To assemble:

1.  Carefully cut the cake into two layers.
2.  Spread the butter cream between the layers.

Prepare a Chocolate Ganache 

 9 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

1.  Placed the chopped chocolate in a bowl large enough to hold it and the cream.
2.  Heat the cream to simmering and pour over the chocolate.  Stir until completely blended.
3.  Pour over the cake.



  1. looks good to me and pretty also. sounds like a great time for all of you. i am wondering just what is in a book called Cracking the cocoanut?

  2. I like it when you make a recipe your own by altering it a bit. And it's so nice that you and your husband enjoy cooking together. the Gardener's speciality is breakfast but he stays away from the kitchen for the dinner meal!

  3. I missed you a lot !!! Hope this new year is going to be wonderful and special for all of us!!! Hugs, Flavia

  4. This cake sounds like it would be good no matter how it's decorated! Sounds like a nice time in the kitchen and enjoying family and friends. looking forward to more!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful holidays season and a great beginning for 2012. I wish you health and happiness.

  6. That Winter Cake is beautiful. It has been quite hectic around here also with my kids visits. Kind of nice to get back to my routine. Wishing you all the best for 2012; alwsy nice to come and see you; love your blog.

  7. Oh dear. I saw the title and thought "oh, no." as in this sounds good. :-)
    xo, Cheryl

  8. This winter cake could be eaten anytime of the year in my opinion- boy does it look fantastic

  9. Such a pretty cake, it sounds great-enjoy:@)

  10. Happy Birthday, dearest. I think it will be great ... looking at that amazing cake.


  11. The cake looks so pretty! I love chocolate ganache icing.

    My husband doesn't often cook but he's good about doing dishes and clean up so we work well together.

  12. Sounds like you had a fabulous holiday season, Bonnie... So glad that things went well.

    Thanks for that recipe.. I may NEVER fix that cake ---at least until I EVER get off of this diet I'm on. BUT--I can read the recipe and my mouth waters!!!!! ha ha

    Happy 2012.

  13. Your cake sounds so good! I can see why you've requested an encore. So glad you had a wonderful holiday! :)

  14. Your cake looks and sounds wonderful! Love the photo of the cookbooks too.

  15. That is almost a flourless cake. The flavor of the walnuts and chocolate with rum butter cream sounds heavenly! I am going to wish you a wonderful birthday right now! And, wish I were going to be there to share a piece of that cake-to-be decorated with flowers!! blessings ~ tanna

  16. It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with friends and family. Your cake recipe is so tempting. I have bookmarked it and will try it for Valentine's Day.

  17. This sounds decadently delicious. I've bookmarked this to try in the weeks ahead. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, Bonnie. I know you enjoyed every minute of it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  18. It seems that you had a wonderful time during Christmas! The cake was the perfect dessert for the occasion!

  19. Those little deer are so adorable! Love the sound of the cake!

  20. This sounds truly amazing! 3/4 pound of walnuts makes it healthy too :)

  21. I wish I had a slice right now. I love the way you topped it off too ;-) Thank you for sharing yet another delectable post. I'm exhausted after my first day back from vacation, but happy to be reading your words and seeing your eats! I hope you are doing well, my friend.

  22. Marvelous recipe, Bonnie, and I love the decorations on top! :)
    Happy New Year!

  23. What a pretty cake! I bet it is delish.

    Happy New Year!


  24. So good your family came and had a safe trip. And what a cake! my teeth were itching to bite into that. LOVE the cake platter.

    Good talking to you! Give Ollie a kiss. How did the evening go with the artist?

  25. Oh my gosh, that looks awesome...but then again, ANYTHING with chocolate looks scrumptious! Well, I got my Midwest Living magazine today and it showed a wonderful recipe on the front cover..of course it was chocolate as well...why do calories have to make us gain weight?

  26. That looks divine!I am going to have to make that for my birthday in Feb.



I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.