250 grams of unsalted, softened butter
1 cup of caster sugar
6 egg yolks
a ‘shot’ of cognac or brandy
juice and zest of 1 orange
300 grams of ground walnuts (make sure they are not too fine – you want a few chunky pieces in there)
2 cups of breadcrumbs or crushed dried rusks
3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves – optional
2 teaspoons of baking powder
6 egg whites
For the sugar syrup
3 cups of water
2 cups of caster sugar
1 cinnamon quill
juice of half a lemon
- Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer until it becomes nice and light.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, ensuring each one becomes fully incorporated into the batter.
- Add your cognac or brandy and the juice and zest and ensure this all mixes well.
- In a separate bowl combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs, spices and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture to your batter, ensuring it mixes well.
- Beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form and gently fold this meringue into the batter.
- Place the mixture into a pre- oiled 24cm baking tin or tray and cook in a 180°C oven for 40-45 mins. Ensure the cake is cooked by using the old ‘skewer method’.
- While the cake is cooking prepare sugar syrup by boiling all the ingredients in a non reactive pot. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for a further 10 mins until you have a nice thick syrup.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down slightly. Pour the sugar syrup over the cake until it becomes fully absorbed.
- Cut the walnut cake into diamond shapes (anything will do really) and serve immediately with a nice strong espresso.