Walnut CakeServes: 10–12
Ingredients:150g (3/5 cup) unsalted butter
375g (generous 1 3/4 cups) caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
4 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
300g (2 3/4 cups) walnuts, coarsely chopped
150g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
For the Syrup:2 tbsp brandy
3 strips of pared orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks
Method:Cream together the butter and 115g (1/2 cup) sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition. Now stir in the brandy, cinnamon and walnuts with a wooden spoon.
Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder. Add the egg whites and the pinch of salt to a clean and dry bowl and whisk until stiff. Fold them into the creamed mixture, alternating with spoonfuls of flour until all the egg whites and the flour have been incorporated.
Spread the resultant batter evenly in a roasting tin (about 35 x 23cm [14 x 9 in] and at least 5cm [2 in] deep) that's been well greased with butter.
Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 190ºC (375ºF, Gas Mark 5) and bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges cleanly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.
In the meantime, mix the remaining sugar with 300ml (1 1/4 cups) water in a small pan. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and mix in the brandy, orange zest and cinnamon sticks. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled slice into 6cm (2 1/2 in) squares or diamond shapes. Spoon over the hot syrup then set aside to infuse for about 15 minutes or until all the syrup has been absorbed and the cake is thoroughly soaked through.