For our winter edition this February, we decided to treat our guests with a Greek dessert. It's a first as Julie is the official dessert baker and so naturally tends to bake French desserts. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this spicy walnut sponge cake filled with syrup was a success, so this is definitely a keeper! We promised our guests we will put the recipe up on the website quickly, so here it is...
For the syrup- 150g sugar
- 8 tbsp honey
- 240ml water
- 4 cloves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the cake- 290g finely chopped walnuts
- 70g plain dry bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- finely grated zest from 1 orange (you can add more if you want the orange taste to be more dominant)
- 70g butter
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 egg (you will need to separate the yolks and the whites)
- 60 ml milk
PreparationMix all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. You can leave it a little more if you want the syrup to be a little thicker, just make sure not to forget about it! Once ready, remove the cloves, put the saucepan on the side and leave to cool down.
In a large bowl, stir together the walnuts, crumbs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and finely grated orange zest. Split the mixture in two halves, into separate bowls.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy. Add 1 egg yolk at a time and finally the milk, while keeping on beating. Add to one of the halves of the nut mix and stir together.
Whip the egg whites to firm peaks. Fold egg whites into the same half of the nut mix, and once completely integrated, add the remaining nut mixture into batter.
Pour into a buttered oven baking tray and bake in preheated oven at 180°C (gas mark 4)for about 40 minutes.
Dig some small holes all over the hot cake and pour the cool syrup. Cover the cake with a cloth and let it cool in the baking tray.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice scream.