This is one of these posts I do every now and again where Gosia (debatably the “better half”) ventures into the kitchen and comes up with something I wish I’d done. Generally when that happens I photograph and blog about it anyway and then have to fight about whether or not I’ve fully credited her as the creator.
And don’t even get me started on how difficult it was to get the recipe out of her – I’ve never before met anyone who bakes without weighing ingredients let alone one who argues the point of whether or not it really is necessary to specify the weight of flour in a cake recipe (answer: yes it is). Still, it means that if anything goes wrong with this recipe you can blame her for once, not me!
Anyway….this, the latest in a line of Polish recipes on this site is a cake called “Orzechowiec”. Orzechowiec roughly translates as “nut cake” but certainly in this version (and as usual with literal translations), that’s an understatement. The sponge is covered in an alcoholic cream, studded with cherries and caramelised walnuts, and finally drizzled with chocolate. What’s more, it’s absolutely delicious.
Orzechowiec / Walnut Cake Recipe – Ingredients & Method
For the cake:
- 200g / 1 cup Plain Flour
- 200g / 1 cup Potato Flour
- 250g / 1 cup caster sugar
- 5 eggs (separated)
- 2 tsp baking powder
This portion of the recipe is really easy; first beat the egg whites to soft peaks then start to add the sugar while still beating until it forms stiff peaks. In a separate bowl mix together the egg yolks and dry ingredients until combined. Finally, add the dry mix to the egg whites, folding in with a large metal spoon a little at a time until combined.
Empty into a 23cm spring-form cake tin and place in the oven at 180 degrees c / 360 f for around 45 minutes before checking – a skewer (a coctail stick will work fine) inserted into the center should come out dry.
When cooled, cut the cake across the center to create (basically) 2 cakes.
For the butter-cream:
- 125g / 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 250g / 1 cup Icing Sugar
- 1 whole egg + 2 yolks (optional)
- Vodka, to taste
Gosia’s method for this is to place all ingredients (bar the vodka) into a bowl, beating until light and fluffy and then adding the vodka a little at a time while still beating until it tastes “right”.
My slightly tweaked version would do away with the raw eggs, beating the butter first until light and fluffy before adding in the icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time while still beating. Finally drizzle in the vodka while still beating – not too much or the mix will become too loose (a couple of tbsp should do the trick).
Spread this thickly over the cake halves when done.
For the topping:
This comes in 2 parts; the walnuts, which are caramelised in sugar and butter, and the chocolate sauce which is drizzled over. Cherries (canned and pitted) are optional but go well enough with the cake to be worthy of inclusion.
- 1 handful of walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
Heat the above in a frying pan until bubbling, add the walnuts and heat for a couple of minutes until reduced and sticky. Stir regularly, then allow to cool before studding the cream cake topping with both these and the cherries.
- 125g butter / 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 5 heaped tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
First melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add the sugar, water and cocoa, and whisk until glossy. Leave for a couple of minutes to bubble, continuing whisking and allow to cool a little before drizzling over the cake.
Your final step is to try and stand back long enough to admire your work before cutting a slice and eating it!