I first ate this glorioius cake about 10 years ago when on the island of Corfu with my family. We had just visited some wonderful ruins nestled in the northern part of the island and there in a little cafe they served up this most amazing cake. Deliciously light yet incredibly moist it really was one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. Since then I’ve been scouring through recipes and experimenting at home to try and replicate it and at last, I think I’ve just about cracked it.
One of the key ingredients is goats butter. Although it is not essential it does seem to make the cake lighter, and is also good for those who are lactose intolerant. Also for those who are gluten intolerant you may use breadcrumbs made from gluten free flour.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin. Pound the walnuts or lightly grind in a blender or a food processor. Boiling kills the beneficial qualities of raw honey soonly warm the syrup.
When adding the syrup do this slowly which allows the cake to absorb the liquid properly and not become soggy.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and cook for 3- 5 minutes till golden brown (take care not to burn them).Remove and leave to cool then coarsely chop.
Cream the butter and sugar (use a hand mixer) together till pale and fluffy.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
In a mixing bowl add the butter and the sugar and beat until fluffy for at least 10 minutes. Add the yolks one-by-one and beat until absorbed. Add the chopped walnuts and the breadcrumbs.
Dissolve the baking powder in the cognac (or orange juice) and add to the walnut mixture. Stir in the spices.
Beat the egg whites to a soft peak.
Using a large metal spoon to gently fold the egg white into the walnut mixture taking care not to knock the air out. The mixture should be soft and fluffy.Carefully pour into the tin and bake at 180°C on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes. (to check use a toothpick to see if it comes out dry).
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a pan, add the water, honey, anise pod, and orange zest. Heat gently until the honey has dissolved in the water. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
When the cake is cooked,whilst the cake is still hot, take the cooled syrup and using a spoon, slowly ladle the syrup over the cake a spoonful at a time. Set it aside to soak up the syrup for 10-15 minutes.
When the cake is cool, remove from the tin and place on a pretty plate and serve.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin.
Pound the walnuts or lightly grind in a blender or a food processor.
Boiling kills the beneficial qualities of raw honey soonly warm the syrup. When adding the syrup do this slowly which allows the cake to absorb the liquid properly and not become soggy.