Recipe from Chocolat by Eric Lanlard (Mitchell Beazley, 2013)
I used to make this recipe when I was a kid. I’m not too sure where the Swiss origin comes from, but even today it is still one of my all-time favourite cakes to make, as I love the combination of walnuts and chocolate.
Preparation time: 15 minutes,
Cooking time: 40–45 minutes
- 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 75g (3oz) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 65g (2½oz) roasted and chopped walnuts (see Tip below)
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 50g walnut halves, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/
gas mark 4. Grease a 22cm (8½in) diameter cake
tin and line with baking paper.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure
the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at the time. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then carefully fold in. Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla, then fold in the chopped walnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the extra walnut halves on top in a circular pattern and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean – the texture will be very similar to a brownie.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve dusted with icing sugar. A hot crème anglaise is perfect as an accompaniment.
For roasted walnuts or any other nuts, simply spread whole nuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven at 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas mark 4 for 8–10 minutes, or until golden and crisp – be sure to watch them, as they can burn quickly. Leave to cool, then chop.