What to do with a kilo of walnuts kindly given to me by Cheri's aunt?
As I'm not a huge fan of just chowing down on nuts as a snack, even though I know they are good for me, I decided to make something decidely less healthy but undeniably delicious: a walnut cake with a decadent cognac icing. After all, what's the point of trying to be healthy over the festive period?
Walnut cake with cognac icing
Shell 450g walnuts and set aside 16 for decoration. Put the rest in a blender with 150g brown sugar. Blend for 10 seconds, until the mixture is roughly but evenly chopped.
Heat the oven to 170C/gas 5. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and 80g flour, followed by 3 eggs and 130g melted butter.
Grease a high-edged baking tin and sprinkle with flour. Pour in the cake mixture and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 40 mins, then leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.
To make the icing, mix 80g icing sugar with 1tsp cognac. Add a little water if necessary. Pour over the cake, coating evenly. Place the walnuts around the edge of the cake and leave to set before serving.