September is almost over but temperatures are still high, like summer high, and that’s not cool at all I tell you. I miss the pleasant petrichor that follows autumn rain and the feeling of the slight cool breeze on my face. I don’t think we are going to get into fall mood for another month or so though.
That’s about climate of course because baking is another story. Apples, walnuts, grape must and fresh grape syrup are now on the market and I can’t hold myself. I know most of this stuff can be found all year round nowadays but you know it and I know it: Fruit and vegetables taste best when eaten in season.
Last year I baked Greek Grape Syrup Cookies. Today I am sharing a recipe for a Greek Walnut Cake.
I was in my mother’s house when she decided to make this cake and I managed to take some photos because I really wanted to share this recipe with you.
This cake tastes so good! I really love serving it with a dollop of vanilla (or better kaimaki) ice-cream but it’s so good I could easily eat the whole cake straight from the pan. No special servings, no accompaniments; only this cake and a spoon.
This recipe was given to my mother by a friend so I don’t know the exact origin. Maybe it was originally found in a book or a baking blog or it could be a family recipe. Honestly I don’t know. I tried to google it to see if anything comes up but I didn’t find the exact recipe anywhere. At least I tried.
There is nothing I would change in this Greek Walnut Cake with Syrup recipe. Although I have a tendency to question ingredients and methods and, you know, change a thing or two, I decided not to this time. The main reason is that I have tasted several versions of this Walnut Cake in my life but this is the lightest and tastiest by far. By saying lightest I mean that even though you are having a dessert with a descent amount of sugar, this cake doesn’t feel heavy like other syrupy desserts and cakes do. This happens because there is no butter or oil in this recipe. There are eggs, of course, and a special ingredient: Dry bread crumbs. Yes you’ve read that right.
Like I mentined above: I ate the cake. I loved the cake. I decided not to question anything concerning this recipe. You shouldn’t either. Just try it once and you will be convinced.
- For a 22cm round pan
- 160g / 5.60oz dry bread crumbs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 20g / 0.70oz baking powder
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 210g / 7.40oz sugar
- 200g / 7oz walnuts, half finely chopped, half roughly chopped
- 400g / 14oz sugar
- 400g / 14oz water
- 2 tsp cognac, optional
- Some butter and flour for preparing the pan
- Prepare the baking pan by greasing it and dusting it with flour; set aside.
- In a bowl combine dry bread crumbs, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder; set aside.
- Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Start mixing on high speed. Add sugar and continue whisking until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Lower mixer speed to medium and add dry bread crumb mixture a tablespoon at a time. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Remove bowl from mixer. Use a spatula to gently fold chopped walnuts in the mixture.
- Transfer cake mixture in the baking pan and bake in a conventional pre-heated oven at 180oC ( 160oC in a convection / fan-forced oven), for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Prepare the syrup. Place water and sugar in a pot and boil for 2-3 minutes; just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the cognac.
- Then gently pour all the syrup over the hot cake. Allow cake to absorb the syrup and cool completely before slicing and serving.
- You can also use a hand mixer to mix the eggs. No difference at all.
- Try incorporating walnuts a tbsp at a time and fold gently to prevent egg mixture from deflating.
- I wouldn’t suggest using a spring form pan for this cake as there is always the possibility for the syrup to leak out.
- Do not open oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking.
- The cake will feel a bit dry to the touch when taken out of the oven but after absorbing the syrup it will rise and become tender.
- Although usually we use cold syrup in hot cakes and cookies this recipe calls for both the cake and the syrup to be warm. I really liked the final cake texture so I didn’t feel like experimenting.
- I would suggest waiting for at least 4 hours before serving the cake. Probably the best thing to do is to let the cake sit undisturbed in the pan through the night.
This post is also available in: Greek