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Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake

Every region in Italy lays claim to Torta di Noci, with the Venetian version being richer with added chocolate and, at the other end of the scale, the Calabrian version being rather more humble with only three ingredients. This version from Anna del Conte falls somewhere in between.

You will need:

120g unsalted butter at room temperature

180g icing sugar, sifted

3 large eggs at room temperature, separated

150g walnut pieces

120g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

pinch of sea salt

grated zest of lemon

¼ tsp lemon juice

unsalted butter and dried breadcrumbs for the tin

icing sugar to decorate

  1. Heat the oven to 180C

  2. Beat the butter until very soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar to make a smooth, thick cream.

  3. Lightly beat the egg yolks together with a fork and add to the butter cream, mixing thoroughly

  4. Chop the walnuts until coarsely ground, taking care not to chop them too finely. Stir into the butter mixture

  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and fold into the butter mixture with the orange zest

  6. Whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice until stiff but not dry and fold into the mixture using a metal spoon.

  7. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, shake the tin to cover all surfaces and then shake out the excess crumbs. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin.

  8. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake is done. Unclip the side band and turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool

  9. Sprinkle lavishly with icing sugar before serving. 

In Italy, you will find very few wines or foods which are too sweet - even their dessert wines such as the Ramandolo from either Gori Agricola or Dario Coos has a honey sweetness which is skillfully balanced with a hint of sharpness. This wine is a perfect match for a perfect walnut cake such as this one.

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