Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Caramel and Walnut Cake

Caramel and Walnut Cake

A favourite of mine for many years, Navroze seemed the perfect opportunity to make this for my dessert table.

It is a tad creamy, a bit sweet for the 21st century, but the nuts helps it cut down on the richness and creaminess leaving behind morsels of simply delectable bites to melt in the mouth! 
Not for the faint heart, be prepared to either make some caramel, or take the simpler option of buying it ready to use at a deli/confectioner close by.
Mine was a salted caramel, adding a bit of salt after each bite 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 with a parchment in each and butter it well.

In a food processor pulse together the walnut, 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 . Whip 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 dry and beaten only until soft peaks are formed.

Now fold in 1/3rd of the egg white. Alternate by adding 1/2 the walnut crumbs. Repeat with egg white, walnut and finishing it off with egg whites.

Divide the batter in two, pouring it into the prepared pans.

Bake in a preheated oven of 350F/ 175C for 22 minutes.
The cakes should start to leave the sides of the pan. Run a knife immediately. Allow it to cool completely.
Over turn and ice with cream, sprinkle with caramel place the second layer of cake. Cover with cream and decorate with slivers of caramel.
Keep 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.
Keep chilled.

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 leave to cool thoroughly.
Place another parchment sheet over and with a mallet break into shards.
Keep the larger full pieces aside for the top and use the rest in the layer. 


Walnuts should be fresh and not rancid. Taste one if you are unsure of its age.
Pulsing will ensure the mixture turns into crumbles. This also prevents the oils from the walnuts to be 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 refers to the instant coffee granules and not the powder  or beans used for brewed coffees.

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 is 38%+ fat content. Not less.

Caramel is often made with water added.
If you wish to do that, add 3/4 cup cold water. Make sure all the sugar is first 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, turn it over before you try to break it.

Sea salt is referred 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.

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