Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake with Chocolate Orange Sabayon

From A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti (Chronicle Books 2003)

Walnut Cake

10 ounces (2 1/2 cups) Superior Nut Store Raw Walnuts, toasted

1 cup sugar

6 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons potato flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Orange Sabayon

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

To make the cake:

There are two good ways to toast the walnuts.

Oven: Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes; check frequently.

Stovetop: Spread in a single lay in a dry pan. Cook over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes; stir frequently.]

In a food processor, finely grind the walnuts with 1/4 cup of the sugar. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whip the egg yolks and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until light in color and tripled in volume, 2 minutes with a stand mixer or 4 minutes with a handheld mixer.

Fold in the walnuts, potato flour, baking powder, espresso, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, 1 minute with a stand mixer, or 3 minutes with a handheld mixer.

Fold the egg whites into the walnut batter in three additions. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.

Remove the cake from the pan by running a knife along the inside edge, releasing the latch, and inverting the cake onto a large plate. Remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper.

To make the sabayon:

In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until blended.

Whisk in the orange juice.

Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk vigorously until thick, about 3 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the pan. Whisk in the chocolate.

Place the bowl over an ice bath. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Slice cake and spoon chocolate orange sabayon on top.


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