Gourmet Break - Walnut cake from Périgord

Published the 09/15/2020 in Exploring the Region

Short gourmet break in Périgord! Even if it is often with black truffles that we think, the walnut is a true specialty of the Périgord. If walnut oil is a must for Perigord salads, walnut cake is a specialty not to be missed.  And as it is the season, I propose you a small recipe easy to realize, and greedy. 

a story of walnut

The walnut is today a PDO that extends over the Périgord but not only, since it is found in Charentes, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne and even Aveyron. The Périgord walnut refers to fresh and early walnuts, as well as the dried walnuts and kernels that we usually eat.

In addition to being delicious, it is nowadays considered a super-food since it is rich in Omega 3, therefore in unsaturated fatty acids (like fish), as well as proteins. It is therefore the perfect food for athletes and vegetarians.

Even if the region now produces nuts in an agricultural way, the nut was already an integral part of the life of Cro-Magnon men since we find nuts in their homes. It was also a popular means of payment during the Middle Ages. Not only did farmers pay their taxes in walnut packets, but walnut oil was considered an extremely valuable commodity, which was the source of the region's prosperity. In addition to cooking, it was also used in painting, lighting and soaps.

 The recipe

There are several kinds of nut cake. Here we start with a cake type cake, but you will also find richer cakes consisting of a cake filled with nuts and honey. Excellent, but a bit sweeter.  For the carrot cake lover that I am, it's on this walnut cake that I set my sights. And for those who wish to make it more gourmet, an icing with fromage frais or chestnut cream will give it a more festive aspect. It is baking time! 



Preheat the oven to 180°C

Set aside a few walnut kernels and crush the rest (for ease of use, use a freezer bag and rolling pin). plastic bag and crush them with a glass or hammer.

In a bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar until the mixture whitens and becomes frothy. Add the flour, egg yolks, and crushed nuts.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Mix them gently with the rest of the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured mould, place a few walnuts on top and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Leave to cool before unmoulding.

The extra touch: you can serve it plain or with an icing! Recipe adapted from the original recipe of @the hazelnut pepites @les pepites de noisettes

To drink with the cake,  we recommend    a wine from the region,  like a glass of Monbazillac, a sweet and syrupy wine, or possibly a glass of walnut alcohol  to stay in the same theme. 

Enjoy !