Thursday, 6 November 2014

Gluten-Free Walnut Cake

Hello everyone, hope you're having a good week. Today I have for you a recipe that is easy to make, gluten-free and relatively healthy - think good fats here!

I really like walnuts. Folded into cakes, pies, or most recently for me, pesto (whizzed up with some kale - wow), they're one of life's surprisingly versatile ingredients you can incorporate into both sweet and savoury dishes. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, packed with antioxidants that boost heart health, and provide a whole load of benefits that can help reduce your risk of breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Apparently they can also help you deal with stress... Well, let me tell you, eat a lovely big slice of this delicious cake and you will definitely feel a lot better! 

This cake is essentially four ingredients: walnuts, eggs, sugar and lemon zest. Make of that what you will, but pulverising any kind of nuts is a fantastic substitute for flour - whether you're allergic to gluten or not. It makes quite a dense cake, but in this cold weather I tend to crave that stodginess.

Ingredients 
(serves 8-10)
340g walnuts
4 eggs, separated
225g (1 cup) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Icing sugar for dusting

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 4 (180ºC/350ºF) and preparing a 9-inch round cake tin. I used a springform tin (because it's much easier to remove the cake once it's cooked), lined the bottom with parchment paper and greased the sides of the tin to stop the cake sticking. You can prepare the tin however you like: grease with butter, dust the sides with flour, ground almonds etc. Just don't stick it in the oven with nothing otherwise the cake will not come out whole!

Next, pulverise your walnuts in a food processor until they resemble a fine sand-like texture. It will be fairly compact so it's best to blitz them in parts so you can break up the mixture. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy. Grate in your lemon zest (it will smell divine) and then mix in the walnut crumbs. It will turn into quite a solid paste but don't worry it's supposed to look like that - promise! In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add a heaped spoonful to your walnut paste, beating vigorously to loosen the mixture up. Fold in the rest of the egg whites and then pour the combined cake mix into your greased tin.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is firm and golden brown. Allow it to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack before dusting with icing sugar.

After making this torte-like cake, it had me thinking: there are so many gluten-free combinations you could probably do with this recipe. I want to try hazelnuts and dark chocolate chips, or pecans and maple syrup next. The possibilities!

Recipe originally from Food 52
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14 comments

  1. Amazing. I'm in need of good gluten free cake recipes! Can't wait to try this. Perhaps with a light coffee frosting?

    Thanks for sharing x

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    1. Ooh what a good idea! Sounds lovely - do give it a go! Xx

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  2. Mmmm this looks gorgeous! I need to try this!
    Alex // www.prettythoughtsx.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's so yummy, with a little hint of lemon too! Walnuts and lemons work surprisingly well! Xx

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  3. This looks super yummy! Perfect for these cold nights with a lovely hot chocolate! Looks like I've got some baking to do! :)

    Life As Lissy

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    1. Hot chocolate sounds like the perfect drink to have with this cake - must cosy up by the fire with one! Wild Friday nights, haha! Xx

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  4. This looks and sounds delicious! So happy to see there's no dairy in it either! xx

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    1. Ah yes, didn't write that down did I? Always a plus for those that are lactose intolerant! Xx

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  5. Ooh this sounds gorgeous, I find it hard to eat nuts as they are so this is a great way of getting them in something that tastes great xxx



    BlondeOfCarbs

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    1. And there are soooo many walnuts in this! It can get quite expensive - I find nuts and seeds can be really overpriced. This cake is worth the expense though! Xx

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  6. This looks so yummy! Can't wait to try this recipe out, thanks for sharing!

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  7. Looks great! I always try to cook gluten-free when I'm baking for housemates at uni, so it's always good to find new recipes. Especially as like you've said there's lots of extra possibilities with this one :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thanks Jenny - hope you give it a go! Xx

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