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Walnut Cake

“Rich, moist, dense not too-sweet cake” is the description in the Good Food SMH clip I cut out when I saw this cake in the paper. I cannot see who wrote the recipe from my cut out unfortunately, but I love this cake whoever you are!
It is my go to for a big dinner party where I am cooking at least three courses and I need dessert to be made in advance and easy to serve – it gets better the next day which makes it even better too! And is great with coffee.
I love walnuts  – this cake also has a hint of cardamom and orange, plus it finishes with a lovely and perfect dusting of cocoa.
It is not a large cake but it is full of flavour and texture.  Keep in mind it is easy and common  to have more than one slice, so can be demolished by 6 people, or can serve up to 10 – depends on the crowd!

Pictured: Walnut Cake
16og walnut halves
2 slices white bread
150g unsalted butter, diced and softened
130g sugar
4 eggs, separated
¼ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of fine sea salt
Grated zest of 1 Seville or regular orange 
Pinch of cream of tartar
Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Butter a 23cm spring-form cake tin – line the base with baking/parchment paper.
Spread the walnuts and bread slices on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes – until the bread is dry and the nuts are lightly toasted – 10 minutes seems to be spot on for this. Let cool.
Lower the oven to 160°C.
Put the butter and all but 2 tbsp of the sugar (set aside) into a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy.
Pulse the walnuts and bread in a food processor until finely ground.
Add the yolks one at a time to the creamed butter mix, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the walnut mix as well as the cardamom, salt and orange zest.
In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar then whisk until they are white. Add the 2 tbsp of reserved sugar 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk til the whites are glossy and like “whipped cream”.
Add a large spoon of the egg whites to the walnut mix and mix in – this adds the first bit of air for the batter.
Now tip the batter into the rest of the egg whites and fold very gently until just mixed – pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake 50 minutes or until dark golden and skewer comes out clean when you test the cake.
Leave it to cool a few minutes in the tin, then run a knife along the sides and turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust well with cocoa powder and store in an airtight container.

Serves 8 - 10
Pictured: Walnut cake