Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 1-1/2 cups walnut pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 10 nice walnut halves and 2 Tablespoons honey for garnish
Spread the walnuts on a sheet pan and toast in the preheated oven for 6 minutes. Cool and rub the nuts in a towel to remove the loose skins.
Grind the walnuts in a food processor with 1/2 cup of the flour until very fine. In a medium bowl, combine the ground nuts, remaining flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter with the honey and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the orange zest and vanilla. Add it in thirds to the butter mixture. Beat well to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, toast the ten walnut halves on a sheet pan for 8 minutes. While they are still warm rub the nuts in a towel to remove the excess skin and place them in a small bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of honey and stir until the walnuts are coated. Reserve the walnut halves at room temperature to garnish the cake when it is finished.
Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cake rack to cool. Garnish the edge of the cake with the walnut halves.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Recipe Source: The Vineyard Kitchen by Maria Helm Sinskey (HarperCollins)
Reprinted with permission.