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Walnut Cake with Peaches and Basil Recipe

Walnut Cake with Peaches and Basil Recipe


Walnut Cake with Peaches and Basil Recipe 

This delicious non-dairy cake is inspired by a recipe from English food writer Arabella Boxer for a traditional Turkish cake. Many people tell me they don’t like walnuts. This may be because they have only ever tasted walnuts that are rancid, with a sharp and bitter flavour. Luckily fresh, sweet-tasting New Zealand walnuts are readily available now, so look out for them and store them, like all nuts, in the fridge.

I have always liked the pungent minty aroma and flavour of basil with peaches combined here.

For the peaches and basil

  • 8 ripe peaches, peeled

  • 125ml water

  • ½ cup demerara sugar

  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil stalks

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, plus extra leaves for serving if desired

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the peaches in a small ovenproof pan just big enough to hold them in one layer. Add the water and sprinkle the sugar over the peaches.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until tender, basting occasionally.

Remove from the oven and place the peaches and syrup in a wide bowl. Add the basil stalks and leaves, and mix carefully but well. Cool to room temperature.

Lift the peaches carefully into another bowl and strain the liquid over them. Discard the basil. Reserve.

Walnut Cake

  • olive oil for rubbing

  • 6 eggs, separated

  • 200g brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 60g fresh breadcrumbs

  • 100g finely chopped walnuts

  • icing sugar for dusting

  • crème fraîche or whipped cream to serve

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C..

Rub a 23cm-diameter springform cake tin with olive oil and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

Beat the egg yolks, sugar and cinnamon until very thick and creamy.

Stir in the breadcrumbs and walnuts.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry then fold into the walnut mixture.

Pour into the tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin.

Remove from the tin and serve well dusted with icing sugar in wedges with the peaches on the side and a dollop of crème fraîche or whipped cream on top. Garnish with basil leaves if desired. Serves 6-8.

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