Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 3, 2005 01:39 PM

Katie Nell's Walnut cake results

  • p

Inspired by Katie Nell's recipe and some black walnuts I found at the farmer's mkt this week, I tried this cake. Wonderful-a real walnut lover's dessert! Saturated and moist but not oily, light etheriel texture with an almost melt in your mouth quality. Deflated a bit upon unmolding but had enought structure to hold shape and crumb. The heady black walnut aromas really came through, in fact my husband thought it had some sort of booze in it!

I was going to serve with whipped cream or poached pears as suggested but the cake disappeared fast. Perfect with black tea. Thanks for sharing!



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for sharing; your picture looks delicious. I'm going to save this recipe for Passover -- always looking for something to serve next to the tried and true Flourless Chocolate Cake.

    1. Looks wonderful and the perfect afternoon or morning bite. I don't think I can get black walnuts where I am (although I haven't looked too hard), so I assume it's fine to use all English? What pan did you bake in? Loaf?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Carb Lover

        I'm sure English walnuts would be fine, just a milder flavor. Also, wondering how it would adapt to other nuts, say pistachios, pecans, or almonds.

        I baked it in mini loaf pans-my futile attempt at portion control.

        1. re: petradish

          Thanks. Don't worry...baking in mini tins means it has less calories. ;-) The cooler weather coupled w/ the holiday cheer is making me want to nibble all the time!

          1. re: petradish

            Keep in mind when substituting nuts in baking: they all have different oil contents, so it sometimes takes a lot of experimenting to get the ratios right. I've been having lots of fun with pistachios recently. Pistachio cakes, pistachio frosting, pistachio creme (which you can find in Italy). The latter is phenomenal in crepes.

            I'm thinking of trying out different nut crusts for savoury tarts next...

            1. re: Kate

              Thanks for the reminder about oils-should be interesting finding the correct balances for each nut.

              I know what you mean about pistachio cream-love that stuff! I just found a Sicilian sweets cookbook with tons of inspirational nut ideas to delve into, including pistachio conserve!

              Look forward to reading about your nut crusts.

              1. re: Kate

                I just received my crepe pan -- would you mind sharing the recipe for pistachio cream?

                1. re: Dev

                  It's not a recipe as such, I'm afraid. I sort of made it up, trying to mimic the crema di pistacchio that was my favourite filling in a little creperia in Bologna.

                  The big question when cooking with pistachios is: to peel or not? Obviously, you shell them, but there is a papery covering that's purply brown.If you leave it on, your end product will be an unappetising mauve/brown colour, but peeling them is a time-consuming nuisance. I've heard that leaving the nuts overnight in water makes it easy - haven't tried myself. Next timeI might just suck it up and buy the expensive shelled and peeled pistachios I've seen in places like Dean and Deluca.

                  Rant over,here's how you do it:
                  Take an equal volume superfine sugar and peeled pistachios. Put the pistachios in a food processor (I use the herb chopper attachment that came with my braun hand immersion blender). put 3/4 of the sugar and a small pinch salt in with it, and blitz to puree. If it's still a bit bitty, it's ok. Taste, and add sugar to taste, and blitz again.You want it to taste sweet, but still get a clear pistachio flavour. When it's sweet enough for you, add a tiny bit of cold water to get a creamy consistency. Taste again - it should be rich and flavourful and addictive. Put the spoon down, and back away slowly.

                  Make your crepes according to your recipe, then spread a bit of the pistachio creme onto it, and fold.Use less creme than you think you will need - it's very rich and relatively strong. Fold, or roll, according to your preference. Enjoy!

                  1. re: Kate

                    "Put your spoon down, and back away slowly." It sounds delcious, and I'll bet I will be remembering these words after I taste it.

                    Thanks so much for the instructions. I will definitely be trying this!

          2. I'm so glad you liked it! It looks just like the cake I had! Thanks for reporting back!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              It's a gem! I'm sold on flourless nut cakes now, thanks again.

              1. re: petradish

                Can't wait to try the walnut cake.

                Now that Katie has initiated you into the wonderful world of flourless nut cakes, you might like to try this recipe. It's also flourless, and it's one of my mum's best. It's rich and incredibly moist with a subtle nuttiness, and an almost smoky-sweetness from the chestnut puree.

                CHESTNUT BUNDT CAKE
                My mum uses the French sweetened chestnut puree in tins in the baking section at Wholefoods.

                Whip/beat together
                300g/10.5 oz. confectioner's sugar
                400g/14 oz. sweetened chestnut puree
                200g/7 oz. butter
                7 egg yolks

                300g/ 10.5oz ground almonds
                1 good pinch baking powder

                Add carefully without overbeating:
                7 stiffly beaten egg whites.

                Pour into a greased and floured baking tin or bundt mold. Bake for 60-65 minutes at 350F/180C. Gently sift over some confectioner's sugar just before serving. Enjoy!

                1. re: Kate

                  Cool, thanks!