By Jacqueline Fanchini
PLANNING the Christmas holiday menu may seem a tough nut to crack but you can always count on walnuts to add wow factor.
The crinkly little stone fruit shaped like a barrister’s wig is the perfect winter ingredient to add a seasonal and healthy twist to your festive feasting.
Although walnuts have a high saturated fat content, they make amends by being high in protein, anti-oxidants and omega-3 oils.
In fact, recent studies have shown that walnuts can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, reduce heart disease, cut cancer risk and even help to increase weight-loss in dieters.
Of course, the Christmas season is no time to think of losing weight, but with New Year round the corner, it’s a good time to resolve to try something new. So why not try your hand at a Polish cake recipe, made all the more delicious with walnuts and said to be so scrumptious, it’s nicknamed ‘the tasty’.
Ms. Walewska Cake (‘The Tasty’)
Ingredients for the dough:
500g of wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
125ml of powdered sugar
200g of butter
6 egg yolks
Mix it all up, knead the dough into a ball then divide it in half.
Ingredients for the meringue:
6 egg whites
375ml caster sugar or icing sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Beat the whites into a stiff foam. Then gradually add sugar in small batches. At the end, add the cornstarch and stir gently.
1 jar of blackcurrant jam (450g)
120g crushed walnuts
Ideally, use a 25 x 33 cm baking tray and line it with baking parchment paper. Place one half of the dough on the bottom, roll it out and straighten it.
Coat the dough with half of the black currant jam. Then spread out half of the meringue mass. Sprinkle half of the crushed flaked walnuts on the meringue spread.
Bake at 175 ° C for about 40 minutes.
Proceed identically with the second half of the cake. You can bake the two layers together in the oven, or one after the other; in which case it is best to prepare the second meringue spread immediately before baking.
Allow the cake layers to cool.
500ml of milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
16 g sugar almond
200 g butter
Boil one glass of milk with the sugars. Mix in the second glass of milk with the egg yolks and flour (like pudding), add to the boiling milk and bring to boil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool.
Beat or mix soft butter until it’s light, then gradually add the cooled-down cream filling while continuing to beat.
Thickly spread the cream filling over one of the ready cooled cake layers and place the other on top. Chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.