Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Amazing Walnut Cake from the Dordogne, France

This recipe, test driven and tweaked to work in an American kitchen, is one I played with while passing the winter in the Dordogne in southwestern France. There, walnut orchards abound, as do walnut products, from the raw nut to the toasty amber-toned walnut oils, walnut liqueurs, and walnut wine (vin de noix).

This cake is easy, incredibly delicious--made with white wine and walnut oil--and beautifully paired with berry sauce and vanilla ice cream. A full-bodied red wine from the Cahor is a perfect match, enhancing the walnuts, cream, and berries. But a glass of white wine, of the same vintage you mixed into the cake batter, is also remarkable.

Dordogne Walnut Cake

4 eggs
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup dry white wine (I like using a dry white from Bergerac)
1 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 cup walnut oil

Mix the eggs and sugar until well blended and then beat in the baking powder, sea salt, wine, walnuts, and flour. Add in the oil and beat until you have a smooth batter. Pour into a round baking dish lined--bottom and over the edges--with parchment paper.

Bake in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for ~30 minutes or until the center springs back from your touch.

As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, you can lift it out of the baking dish by the edges of the parchment paper. Set it on a heat-resistant surface, such as a wooden chopping block, and allow to cool.

While the cake cools, make the simple berry sauce.

Easy Berry Sauce:

My favorite berry sauce is a pint of black berries heated slowly in a pan with a tablespoon of any berry preserve you have on hand, such as raspberry, strawberry, or even elderberry. Other fresh, seasonal berries work beautifully, too. Over the low heat, let the berries slowly "melt" into their own sauce.

Plate the cake by first placing a couple spoonfuls of the sauce onto a dessert plate. Set a wedge of the walnut cake on the sauce to one side of the plate. On the other side, place a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Even though Walnut Oil is used in cookery, it is outstanding skin care oil that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, and you feeling great.