This is the same recipe as the Hazelnut tort only here ground walnuts are used instead of hazelnuts.
I used the 6 egg recipe and made it in 2 x 18cm sponge cake tins.
A Little Note About Walnuts
Walnuts (Juglans regia) are native to south-east Europe and south-west China. They are the oldest tree food known dating back to 7,000 BC.
There are accounts of their cultivation in Babylon (now Iraq) in 2,000BC.
Juglans regia means means Jupiter’s royal nut.
They are the seed of a drupe (stone fruit) – not a true Botanical nut.
In Polish walnuts are orzechy włoskie – nuts Italian – so named it is thought as they were brought to Poland by traders from Imperial Rome.
Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) are native to North America.
225g caster sugar
225g ground walnuts
2 sponge fingers – crushed.
Optional – extra chopped walnuts for sprinkling on the butter cream or grated dark chocolate.
You will need to grind the walnuts and of course an electric grinder makes this very easy.
It is best to chop the walnuts into small pieces as this will make it easier and grind the walnuts in small batches so as not to over strain the motor.
Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
Grease and line 2 x 18cm in diameter tins.
Crush the sponge fingers and mix them with the ground walnuts.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are pale and frothy.
Fold in the walnut mixture.
Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.
Allow the cakes to cool .
Drizzle each cake with a poncz (sweetened punch). I used 50ml of weak black tea, 1 tablespoon of rum and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Sandwich together with a butter cream & cover the top and sides also.
The following flavours are good with walnuts.
- Rum butter cream
- Coffee butter cream
- Chocolate butter cream
I used a rum butter cream made from 80g butter, 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon of rum and around 230g of icing sugar.
Cream the butter and the egg yolk and add the rum. Mix in the icing sugar until you have the desired consistency.
More butter cream would have been better – I was trying to use the minimum this time!
I added chopped nuts to the top and sides (I used a cake stand with a small lip – a totally flat stand would have make it easier to add the nuts to the sides).
Served on – Tuscan China – Bird of Paradise – Hand Painted – 1930s
An Austrian Influence
A few weeks ago I bought an excellent Austrian cookery book in a charity shop.
I know that there is a lot of overlap & influence between Polish & Austrian Cookery and have enjoyed looking at this book and comparing my recipes with ones here.
On the back cover it says
“The culinary flavour of Austria is a gentle flavour. It knows of the fiery spices of Hungary and the elegance of French cuisine. It derives much of its strength from Moravia and much of its daring from Poland.”
For several of the cakes apricot or redcurrant jam is used to cover the top and sides of the cake before icing it.
For a walnut gateau, similar to my recipe, redcurrant jam is used.
I decided to do a variation of this with my walnut tort and to use raspberry jam.
The 2 cakes were made as above.
A poncz(sweet punch) was used made from 50ml of weak black tea and 1 tablespoon of sugar to drizzle the cakes.
The cakes were then sandwiched together with a raspberry butter cream using 60g Butter, 180g icing sugar & 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam which were creamed together.
Then the top and sides were covered with raspberry jam, warmed slightly for ease of spreading and then this was allowed to dry.
I then made a lemon icing with the juice of 1 lemon and icing sugar and used this to cover the top and sizes.
Served on Royal Grafton – Woodside – from the 1950s
This did not work too well – the icing I made was too stiff and I disturbed the jam underneath and got a mottled pink and white icing which then dripped down onto the base of the cake stand!!
However my friends thought the cake tasted wonderful and loved the combination of flavours, so I decided to make the icing with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of raspberry jam & icing sugar and see how that worked.
Do not cover the cake completely or it will go very soggy – cover it with a net or similar which will let the air circulate but keep insects off.
Alternative Icing 1
I decided to test out the raspberry icing over a creamed sponge cake – I used 4 eggs and equal amounts of butter, caster sugar and self raising flour and baked them in 2 x 20 cm anodised baking tins.
I sandwiched the cakes together with a layer of jam and the raspberry butter cream as above.
I then made a thick icing using the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of raspberry jam & icing sugar.
Served on Aynsley – Las Palmas – 1960s
Alternative Icing 2
This icing was not as tangy as on the original cake so I tested this again with a more pouring, dripping glaze – this time using the juice a lemon, 1 tablespoon of raspberry jam & enough icing sugar to make a more pouring glaze.
I made just one 22cm round walnut cake and cut it in half & used a poncz(sweet punch) made from 50ml of weak black tea and 1 tablespoon of sugar to drizzle the cake.
A few thoughts!
With hindsight I would not use one cake again as it was hard to cut it through evenly & there were lots of crumbs – if I only wanted to use 4 eggs, I would make 2 smaller cakes.
I still have not got the icing quite right – this time there was too much & it was a bit too runny – maybe just the juice of half a lemon would be enough – however the taste was very good.
The cake improved over the next few days as the icing seeped into the cake.
Served on Colclough – Stardust – from the 1960s.
As with the cakes above do not cover the cake completely or it will go very soggy – cover it with a net or similar which will let the air circulate but keep insects off.