The Cake

The cake

For many years now, this cake has accompanied every celebration in my family home. A sponge cake, one half made with ground walnuts, the other left plain, with a filling of rum, vanilla and lemon. It is only fit that it follows my third blogiversary.🙂 I’m sure my mum would approve.

Sorry about the atrocious photos. They were taken with very little light coming from a very weak tungsten bulb, handheld.

Mum's torte

Mum’s Walnut

Cake

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SOURCE:  Mum, recipe adapted from the one she got off a family friend

PREPARATION TIME: about 1 h

COOKING TIME: about 30 min for the filling, and 1 h for baking

CUISINE: Croatian

SERVES: A crowd!

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INGREDIENTS:

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PLAIN SPONGE

6 medium eggs

6 tbsp of sugar, heaped

10 g vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract

6 tbsp plain flour, heaped

6.5 g baking powder

a pinch of bicarbonate soda

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WALNUT SPONGE:

6 medium eggs

6 tbsp of sugar, heaped

10 g vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract

7 tbsp finely ground walnuts, heaped

2 tbsp plain flour, heaped

6.5 g baking powder

a pinch of bicarbonate soda

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FILLING:

7 dl milk (full fat, or semi-skimmed)

3 tbsp corn flour, heaped

3 tbsp flour, heaped

250 g butter, at room temperature

300 g icing sugar

20 g vanilla sugar, or 2 tsp of good quality vanilla extract

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp rum, or to taste

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TO DECORATE:

About 20 – 30 whole walnut halves

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METHOD:

Note: It’s a good idea to start with the filling, so it has time to cool while you prepare the sponge cake.

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I. FILLING

1. Stir in the corn flour and plain flour into the milk, until smooth, and with no lumps.

2. Put the milk to boil, stirring constantly, avoiding lumps to form. When it thickens, leave to cool. (It’s supposed to be fairly thick, barely leaving the spoon when you tap it.)

3. Meanwhile, beat the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and lemon with an electric whisk until smooth. Add rum to taste, and possibly more lemon if you like it more lemony.

4. Combine the butter and milk mixtures, and mix well together.

5. Leave to cool again. (Mum says this makes it easier to spread later on.)

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II. SPONGE

Note: both the walnut and the plain sponge are made in the same way. Ground walnuts are added at the same time as the flour.

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1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, and grease and flour a 25 cm tin, or two. Sift the flour and baking powder and bicarbonate soda together.

2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until the volume doubles in size, and when you lift the mixer out of the bowl, the egg mixture that drops from it traces a ribbon on its surface.

3. Add the flour to make the plain sponge, or flour and walnuts for the walnut sponge. Fold in with the mixer turned off, and then switch the mixer back on and mix briefly, until combined.

4. Pour the mixture in to the prepared baking tin, and bake until the cake is risen, and a toothpick or skewer inserted inside it come out clean. This should take about 20 – 30 min.

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Repeat the process to make the walnut sponge, using flour and walnuts in place of flour only.

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III. ASSEMBLING THE TORTE

1. When the sponge cakes have cooled, cut them both in half, and then spread the filling on top, alternating the the brown and yellow cakes. Decorate with the remaining walnut halves, and chill.

This cake gets better with keeping, and can ‘survive’ in the fridge for about 4 – 5 days, provided it’s not eaten before that!

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Notes:

Instead of walnuts, you could use almonds or hazelnuts, but we usually use walnuts. I think the original cake might have had 1 chocolate layer, 1 walnut, one hazelnut and one plain.

The cake

Photos updated 7 May 2014.

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More sweet Croatian recipes on this blog:

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17 Comments

  1. Mouse

     /  25 May, 2010

    Luscious! Mmm-mm-mm.
    By the way, I’m addicted to your chocolate brownie recipe! I made it with tahini the first time and I thought it was fab but the Cat said it was too tahini-y. So last night I made it again with hazelnut butter and oh my! Even more wonderful! It is is keeper – thank you!

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  2. Oooh, that does look tasty. I had never considered using ground walnuts in a cake – do they affect the cake in the same way ground almonds do? I bet the taste is good, that slightly bitter nuttiness. Delicious.

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  3. MOUSE, I’m so glad you like the brownie recipe! But I can’t take any credit for it, as I found it Joumana’s blog Taste of Beirut.
    Hazelnut butter sounds cool! Did you make it yourself? If not, where did you buy it? Thanks!

    GRUBWORM, walnut and almonds do work in the same way, but the taste is different. It is ever so slightly bitter. Mellower than one might think. But really really lovely and deep.
    Walnut cakes are very very popular in my part of the world.

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  4. I have to say: I clipped a recipe for a walnut sponge cake years ago, thinking I will make it soon; still haven’t but now with your home-sourced recipe I have no more excuses! Sounds exquisite!

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  5. Happy 3rd blogversary, Maninas; and that gorgeous cake certainly adds to the celebration.

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  6. Lovely blog with fantastic recipes…..Love that pic and wud love to have a slice…..
    Request u to add me to ur blogroll
    Do drop in sometime to my blog.
    http://www.athidhyam.com

    Like

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  7. Mouse

     /  26 May, 2010

    Well thanks to you AND Joumana then. (Hello, Tasteofbeirut!) The fact that it was also egg-free was much appreciated by one of Cat’s friends who is allergic to them – it’s a very exciting recipe for us allergic-to-this-and-that people!

    I found the hazelnut butter (and the tahini) in an independent health food shop here.

    By the way, you can’t really be too horrified by my name when you have a GRUBWORM commenting on your blog!🙂

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  8. JOUMANA, there you go – you must try it now!🙂
    Gosh, I’ve got loooads of clips and bookmarks like that….

    SUNITA, thank you!

    MOUSE, I’m foreign and I have no idea what a grubworm is, other than a lovely blogger with excellent posts, and the food that I like!😀

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  9. Did someone mention cake? Any chance your mum wants to adopt me? ;o)

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  10. sretan 3. rodjendan!!!
    torta izgleda mmmmm!:)

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  11. Awe, how sweet. It looks delicious!

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  12. Imamo svi mi svoju Tortu. U mojoj se obitelji vrlo pravi slična torta koju moja mama zove Trebević. Ove kore su iste, žuta krema je ista, s tim da se u jedan dio umješaju i mljeveni orasi.

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    Reply
  13. ROO, Watch what you’re saying! She might!😀

    SNJEZANA, Fala lipa!

    CHERI, Thanks, and welcome to my blog!

    SELMA, Bas super. Svidja mi se ideja za kremy. Probat cemo, i reci cu mami.

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  14. The photo by no means looks horrible… it’s looks delicious. Walnut and sugar… taste delicious.

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    Reply
    • Thanks! That’s very kind of you!
      Yeap, I love walnut and sugar combinations, too. They’re very very popular in my part of the world (Croatia and ex Yugoslavia).

      Like

      Reply
  1. Istanbul 1 « Maninas: Food Matters
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