A favourite of mine for many years, Navroze seemed like the perfect opportunity to make this for my dessert table.
It is a tad creamy and a bit sweet for the 21st century, but the nuts help it cut down on the richness and creaminess, leaving behind morsels of simply delectable bites to melt in the mouth!
Be prepared to either make some caramel, or take the simpler option of buying it ready to use at a deli or confectioner close by.
Mine was a salted caramel, adding a bit of salt after each bite was devoured, something I personally love.
Serves 12 -16
3 cups walnut halves
6 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla
6 egg whites
2 tbsp sugar
Prepare two pans, approximately 24 cm/ 9 1/2 inch. Line each with parchment paper and butter thoroughly.
In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts, flour, baking powder, and salt. The mixture should be like "crumbs" and not fine.
With an electric beater, beat the egg yolks, sugar, coffee granules, and vanilla for 10 minutes, until light and fluffy.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until light and foamy, slowly adding the sugar half way through. The egg whites should not be dried and beaten only until soft peaks are formed.
Fold in one-third of the egg whites. Alternate by adding half the walnut crumbs. Repeat with egg white, walnut, and finish it off with egg whites.
Divide the batter in two, pouring it into the prepared pans.
Bake for 22 minutes in a preheated oven of 175C |350 F.
The cakes should start to leave the sides of the pan. Run a knife all around while still warm. Allow it to cool completely.
Overturn and ice with cream. Put the second layer of cake on top and sprinkle with caramel. Cover with creme and decorate with slivers of caramel.
Keep it refrigerated, preferably covered.
2 cups chilled whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
With an electric beater, whip the cream until ribbons form, adding the sugar slowly half way through.
2 cups sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a pan, heat the sugar until it is all melted and is a golden caramel colour.
Immediately pour it on a cookie sheet as quickly as possible and as thin as possible.
It will start to cool and form immediately. Sprinkle the rock salt all over as quickly as possible. Now let it cool thoroughly.
Place another parchment sheet over it and, with a mallet, break it into shards.
Keep the larger full pieces for the top and the rest for the layer.
Walnuts should be fresh and not rancid. Try one if you are unsure of its age.
Pulsing will ensure the mixture turns into crumbles. This also prevents the oils from the walnuts from being released.
Although eggs separate best when they are chilled, preventing the egg yolk from breaking, eggs should be used for this cake at room temperature.
If there is even a drop of the yolk in the white, it will not beat properly.
Coffee granules are instant coffee granules, as opposed to the powder or beans used in brewed coffees.
The cream must be chilled. It helps if the beaters and bowl are also chilled, especially if you live in a warm climate or work in a hot kitchen.
Whipping cream contains 35% or more fat.
Caramel is often made with water added.
If you wish to do that, add 3/4 cup of cold water. Make sure all the sugar is melted before the water comes to a boil. Otherwise, the caramel will be crystalised and will not be usable.
If you do not have parchment paper, butter the cookie sheet well and turn it over before you try to break it.
Sea salt refers to pieces of salt crystals used in a salt grinder. It cannot be substituted for normal salt.
It stays fresh for only up to 24 hours.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.