Cake with caramelized nutsCourse: Cakes
Soft and light walnut biscuits with fantastic vanilla cream and caramelized walnuts.
- For caramelized nuts:
200 g of sugar
200 g of walnuts
- For the biscuit:
100 grams of smooth flour
100 grams of ground walnuts
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
120 g of sugar
- For the cream:
500 ml of milk
1 vanilla pudding
20 g density
70 g of sugar
1 bourbon vanilla sugar
250 g room temperature butter
caramelized nuts (ground or in the form of “butter”)
- For caramel (if you will use it):
100 g of sugar
30 ml of water
75 ml of sweet whipping cream with a milk fat
60 g of butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavor or ½ vanilla sticks
We need to make caramelized nuts first. Prepare a medium-sized bowl that you must coat with oil or butter. It must be greased so that the nuts do not stick to the edges of the bowl. Put the sugar in a larger pan or stainless steel pot (do not use Teflon pans), and put on medium heat to melt, stirring occasionally so that it melts evenly. When the sugar dissolves and starts to get a golden color, add the walnuts and mix everything well with a wooden spoon to distribute the melted sugar evenly over the walnuts. Continue to heat and stir for a few minutes until the sugar turns brown and smells like caramel. Carefully transfer to a greased bowl and allow to cool completely.
For caramel (if you are going to use it), put sugar and water in a medium-sized pot, preferably deep. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and bubbles have formed in the mixture. Increase the heat, bring to a boil and do not stir again. Let it cook until it gets the color of honey. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the whipping cream. The mixture will froth quite a bit. Then add the butter and vanilla, return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a jar or bowl and place in the refrigerator to thicken.
For the biscuit, separate the egg yolks and egg whites. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, ground walnuts and baking powder. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar until foamy and pale in color. Carefully mix the egg yolk mixture with the egg whites with a spatula. Add the dry ingredients and all with a spatula, but mix gently until all the ingredients are combined. Divide the mixture between 3 20 cm cake tins, cover the bottom with baking paper and grease and sprinkle the sides with flour. Bake between 10-15 minutes at 180 C (I baked my own for exactly 13 minutes). You can also use one 22 or 24 cm mold (so cut the biscuit in half, I think if you cut it into 3 parts, the biscuits would be too thin).
For the cream, there are two options, only the texture is a little different. Divide the chilled caramelized walnuts in half. The first option is to finely grind one half of the walnut and finely chop the other (we will use that half to sprinkle on the cake) – this is how my mom works. What I like to do to get a smoother cream is, to put the first half of the caramelized nuts in a multi-practice and blend until a greasy butter-like texture forms (it won’t be completely smooth because it will feel chunks of caramelized sugar and that’s ok), and I finely chop the other half (supposedly if you don’t have a multi-practice, you can achieve the same in a coffee grinder – I haven’t tried it, but I’ve read it). Both options are great, so I leave you to choose how you will make the cream.
Next, pour the milk (leave about 5 tablespoons) into the pot and let it simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the vanilla pudding, sugar, vanilla sugar and thickener into the rest of the milk (5 tablespoons). Pour the mixture into hot milk and bring to a boil, then cook for a few minutes on low heat until thickened. Allow cooling completely. In a separate bowl, mix the butter until you get a creamy and smooth texture and mix it into the chilled pudding. Add the caramelized walnuts (either ground or in the form of “butter”) and mix everything well to combine all the ingredients. Divide the cream into 3 parts.
Stacking the cake. Place the first biscuit on the tray, which you then coat with one part of the cream, then the biscuit again, then the cream, then the biscuit. Coat the whole cake with the rest of the cream. If you decide to use caramel (if it has thickened too much, put it in the microwave at intervals of 5-10 seconds until it becomes liquid, but it should not be hot, because it will melt the cream), spread on top of the cake and gently push the caramel with a spoon over the edge to drip down the side of the cake, and sprinkle the top with chopped caramelized walnuts. If you decided without caramel, sprinkle the whole cake, top and sides with chopped caramelized walnuts.