Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In a French Kitchen--Gâteau aux Noix

{Gâteau aux Noix}

The other day I asked Mme Bonne Amie  if she would share a favorite family recipe with all of us.

I wanted to show you around her kitchen and see what wonderful thing she would make for us; she's a notoriously fabulous cook. Plus, we do a language exchange every week and we thought this would be a fun thing to do together.

{Ingredients and Recette}

This recipe makes her father-in-law's favorite cake and though it calls for a sugary, coffee-scented icing, she prefers to skip the sweetness of that and serves it plain.

I added the sprinkling of powdered sugar. I just couldn't help myself.

When we were finished she sent me home with the whole cake, still warm from the oven, as a reward for my expert egg white folding skills. This was yesterday. It's all gone now.

{ma belle amie}

I always knew to fold gently to keep from deflating all the hard won fluff but I never knew it had to be all in the same direction.
Did you?

{fresh from the oven}      

I hope you try it and like it. It's not too sweet and is the perfect partner to a cup of milky tea.
See how I mix my cultures?

{surprise, surprise. this guy liked it!}

Gâteau aux Noix, Walnut Cake

180g* chopped walnuts
100g flour (1 cup)
4 egg whites
175g butter, softened
175g sugar

Butter and flour a loaf pan. 
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Cream butter and sugar in one bowl. 
In another bowl, mix the flour and chopped walnuts. It's best if you chop the majority of them finely and leave some in bigger pieces to add texture to the cake.

Add mixed flour and nuts into the butter and sugar mixture by spoonful, mixing after each one.

Beat the egg whites until firm. Mme Bonne Amie told me that Frenchies add a pinch of salt to make them stiffen faster.
Gently fold in the beaten egg whites (neige) one spoonful at at time and only in one direction

Pour into the prepared cake tin and put in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check after 30 to be on the safe side. The recipe calls for 30 but our cake took 40 minutes to be completely cooked. 
Hopefully, you'll get that big, lovely crack down the middle. 

*I didn't convert the measurements on this recipe because they don't exactly work out. You should use a scale if you have one or convert if you're better at math than me. 
122g of chopped walnuts equals 1 cup
175g of butter is 35g shy of 2 sticks
175g sugar is around 1 3/4 cup sugar


  1. I need to find a language partner like yours! How I could go for a piece of that cake right now...

  2. Hmm, I have a definite sweet tooth, especially for all things coffee flavored... maybe you'll share the instructions for the icing as well? Pretty please with icing on top?

  3. Hmm. I don't bake. I wish that I did. Because then I would know what that meant about the egg whites! Same direction! Help! All I do know is that this looks delicious. And that is one cutey patooty on Rudy at the end of the post.

  4. sounds delicious!! i will have to try it sometime

  5. arrrrrrrrgh *drool*
    I can imagine a warm piece of this with butter. That looks awesome! A moving-back-home friend gave me all the dregs of her pantry the other week and there was a packet of walnuts in there. I now know what I'm doing with them. Thanks!

  6. Mmmm Walnut cake sounds tres delicieuse!

  7. That cake sounds rich and delicious!!


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