Walnut Cake

by Lana Stuart on March 30, 2012 · 24 comments

Walnut Cake

Each year when the date of BeeBop’s birthday gets close, I always ask him what kind of cake he’d like for his day. I can usually anticipate his answer – German Chocolate. Or sometimes Lemon Cheese. But this year he completely took me by surprise when he said, “I want that Walnut Cake we saw on TV the other day.”

Excuse me? The walnut cake that Laura Calder was making on Cooking Channel? You mean he was actually paying attention to the always-running cooking shows on our television and was really asking me for a flourless, French cake for his birthday? Yes, he was. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Once I confirmed that I had heard him correctly, I got excited because I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a long time. But I would have never guessed that BeeBop would go for a flourless cake. Goes to show how much I know, right?

This was my first ever attempt at a flourless cake and I’m here to tell you that it won’t be the last. This cake was rich but not too sweet and had just the right amount of chocolate and coffee in the batter. Certainly a non-traditional birthday cake but one of the most enjoyable that I can ever remember.

Pan prepped for walnut cake

You’ll start this cake by preparing an 8″ pan. Butter the pan well and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Insert the parchment and butter it, too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grinding nuts for walnut cake

Grind the walnuts and breadcrumbs together in a food processor. The walnuts should be quite fine, but don’t process too long or they’ll lose texture and become oily.

Egg Yolk Mixture for Walnut Cake

Separate the egg whites and yolks. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, whisk the yolks and sugar together until they have tripled in volume and become thick and very pale yellow. Take the yolks off the heat and stir in the nut mixture and chocolate. Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the coffee or espresso. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. Stir a small amount of the beaten whites into the batter to loosen it.

Folding batter into egg whites

Add the batter to the remaining egg whites and gently fold it in.

Walnut cake batter

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Note – the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan during baking. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to the serving plate.

Decorate with sifted confectioner’s sugar and additional walnuts, if desired. Serve with whipped, sweetened cream.

Enjoy!

–Recipe source: Laura Calder, The Cooking Channel

Walnut Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Walnut Cake

A flourless walnut cake flavored with chocolate and coffee.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. shelled walnuts
  • 3 tblsp. fine breadcrumbs
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tblsp. bittersweet chocolate, grated
  • 1/4 cup butter, at soft room temperature
  • 1 tblsp. strong coffee or espresso
  • For serving:
  • Additional shelled walnuts
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously grease an 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Also grease the parchment paper.
  3. Grind the walnuts and breadcrumbs together in a food processor. The walnuts should be quite fine, but don’t process too long or they’ll lose texture and become oily.
  4. Separate the egg whites and yolks. In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, whisk the yolks and sugar together until they have tripled in volume and become thick and very pale yellow.
  5. Take the yolks off the heat and stir in the nut mixture and chocolate.
  6. Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated.
  7. Stir in the coffee or espresso.
  8. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks.
  9. Stir a small amount of the beaten whites into the batter to loosen it. Add the batter to the remaining egg whites and gently fold it in.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  11. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Note – the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan during baking.
  12. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before transferring to the serving plate.
  13. Decorate with sifted confectioner’s sugar and additional walnuts, if desired. Serve with whipped, sweetened cream.

Notes

Recipe source: Laura Calder, The Cooking Channel's French Food at Home

http://www.lanascooking.com/2012/03/30/walnut-cake/

Other flourless cakes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina March 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Yum, sounds so good, Lana. And great photos!

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2 Lana March 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Thanks, Katrina!

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3 Angela March 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

This sounds divine. I am going to see if I can make a sugar free version!

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4 Lana March 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Great idea – I’d love to know how your sugar-free version turns out.

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5 Katherine Martinelli March 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I can see why this request would take you by surprise! But it really does look like a lovely cake. I love that there is no flour in it. The egg whites must make it so light.

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6 Lana March 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm

It’s not really as light as you might think, Katherine. I think perhaps because of the weight of the walnuts and the viscosity of the egg yolk mixture. Still – a very enjoyable cake!

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7 Feast on the Cheap March 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Oooh, love this! Reminds me of my great nana’s chocolate gateau, only she used almonds instead of walnuts. Just lovely!

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8 Lana March 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I’m so happy I could remind you of a family favorite! That just made my day :-)

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9 Nancy@acommunaltable March 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Oh my.. now this is my kind of cake – it sounds and looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it!! I think husband’s do stuff like this just to keep us guessing!!

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10 Lana March 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I was so surprised when he requested this one, Nancy, but it turned out to be a great choice. We’ll definitely enjoy this recipe again.

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11 Miss P March 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear BeeBop……… Happy Birthday to you!

I sang that to you. Did you hear me?

Miss P

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12 Lana March 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I relayed it to BeeBop for you! He says thanks :-)

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13 Shelby March 31, 2012 at 5:35 am

Looks amazing and I think it would probably be a good cake for Grumpy since the carbs need to be lower for him with his diabetes diagnosis. I personally think they are listening to our shows even though its proclaimed they can’t stand them…I mean after all, they are always thinking what we can put in their stomachs aren’t they? :)

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14 Mari @ Mari's Cakes March 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm

It looks wonderful! I love cakes made like this, they tend to be very light, although as you say with the walnuts and beaten egg yolk it may not be as light, but I am sure it is a delicacy. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am sure to enjoy it soon.

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15 Terra March 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm

It looks lovely! My Mom would adore this, she loves walnuts:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

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16 Chantal from Montreal March 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

It looks good and only 7 ingredients WOW!
My question is salted or unsalted butter?
Thanks for the recipe.

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17 Lana March 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Whichever you prefer Chantal. We Southerners tend to use salted butter in everything – both sweet and savory – but you may prefer unsalted for this recipe.

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18 Suzanne April 2, 2012 at 3:00 am

yum look delicious, pinning for the future ;)

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19 Drick April 2, 2012 at 8:38 am

don’t you just love a surprise like that instead of making a repeat? sometimes I get an answer just as good, as if an alien has taken over, but most of the time it is “Why do you have to always make something new?” with a mumble of never enjoying the same thing twice…
your cake must have a wonderful taste, the ingredients sound very much so…

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20 Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies April 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Beautiful!!

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21 Katie April 3, 2012 at 2:46 am

We have so many walnuts left from last year – perfect recipe! Time to get the hubs shelling.

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22 tresakon April 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Hi,
I’m Texan and Southern, so I really enjoy your stories and recipes. In most of your recipes you use a food processor. This isn’t something that was ever in my mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen and isn’t in mine either. So, my question is this: When you use a food processor to grind nuts (or whatever else) how would you suggest I prepare those kinds of things? I am assuming just so that they are the right texture is what I am after. Thanks so much for all the wonderful memories you evoke with your stories.

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23 Sharon April 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

When was the ‘share’ icon added? It’s so distracting. It covers up portions of your blog when I am reading a recipe. It’s very disturbing. I just thought you would like the feedback. I can’t figure out a way to close it.

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