When I read about this cake in Bon Appetit, it didn’t look like much, kind of like blondies, but the list of ingredients got me hooked, screamed cake at me and my mouth positively watered. A big part of what I love about cooking and baking is reading. I’ve always loved to read and get the biggest thrill (read geek) from reading recipes.
A few words about the almond meal/flour: it’s a bit pricey and all over the place price-wise and also there’s really no difference between almond meal and flour. Three different stores I visited (a supermarket chain store, health food store and farmer’s market) had it priced very differently (anywhere from 5 to 13 dollars for a 1 pound bag). This cake is all about the nutty-moistness and they (the nuts) truly are the standout stars so I committed and bought the almond flour, walnuts and vanilla bean. Vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla bean, but this is a nut cake so there’s no substitution for the nuts. Go for it – you’re worth it!
I chose to eat it with a dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with Turbinado sugar. Mmmmmm…freckles of Turbinado sugar on whipped cream. How delightful.
Everything is waking up.
It’s hard to believe these will be lilacs soon.
Look at how tiny this guy is! He made his way home shortly after this photo was taken. I wanted to raise him as one of my own, but…I went inside, comforted by the fact that he was on his way to his mommy, and ate more cake.
18 – 24 servings
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for cake pan
- 3 Tablespoons raw sugar
- 7 Cups walnut halves
- 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour**
- 1 1/2 Cups almond flour or almond meal (available at supermarkets, specialty markets and natural food stores)
- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream plus extra for serving (1-2 cups)
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (any plain yogurt can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped heavy cream for serving
**For gluten free diets, substitute almond meal/flour for the all-purpose flour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13x9x2″ metal or glass baking dish. Set aside.
Pulse walnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Remove 2 Cups of walnuts and set aside. Add the all-purpose flour and continue to pulse until walnuts are very finely ground. Add almond meal/flour and pulse to blend. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat 1 Cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, cream, yogurt and salt. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the inside or add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat until well combined. Add ground walnut and almond meal mixture and beat just to blend. Gently fold in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into prepared baking pan, smooth top and sprinkle evenly with 3 Tablespoons raw sugar.
Bake until cooked through and tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Pour heavy cream into a bowl and mix on high speed until firm and fluffy. Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream topped with a sprinkle of raw sugar.
Credit: March 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. Recipe courtesy of Nadine Levy Redzepi.