This is a very old family recipe. Very popular in Transylvania and other parts of Eastern Europe, this cake is known as the ” recipe of walnut cake with egg yolk glaze”.
I love easy desserts and easy baking. This recipe fits exactly my passion for real ingredients that most of us should have in the pantry. The cake is made with flour and ground walnuts, butter, sugar and egg whites. The egg whites will give the cake an airy, fluffy consistency.
After the cake is baked, the leftover egg yolks are mixed with powder sugar and poured as a glaze over the cake. The cake is returned to the oven for another 3 minutes to ensure that the egg yolks are cooked properly.
Nothing is wasted in this recipe, as you can see. When the cake cools down, melted chocolate is drizzled over the glaze for a handsome look, but this is optional.
NOTE ON THE GLAZE: This recipe came from my mom, who used to make the recipe quite often. It is a very popular recipe in Romania and everyone makes it. The recipe has a million of versions and doing research on the ingredients and amounts used, I noticed that some of the recipes use the egg yolk in a raw form in the glaze. Yes, it adds creaminess, but you can also risk a good Salmonella poisoning if you don’t use pasteurized eggs.
Because of that, I decided to listen to my guts and return the cake in the oven for few minutes, just to make sure the glaze is cooked. The cake will also last longer as will be safer to eat.
The cake needs to cool down completely before you cut it. Use a sharp serrated knife for pretty slices. The glaze is very fragile and will break easily.
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- For the cake:
- 2 cups/4 sticks/450g of butter at room temperature
- 2 cups/400g granulated sugar
- 2 cups/250g ground walnuts
- 2 cups/250g all purpose flour
- 6 egg whites(keep the yolks for the glaze)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1½ cups/180g powder sugar
- Optional: 2 oz dark chocolate for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add walnuts.
- Add flour spoon by spoon and mix.
- Set aside.
- In a different bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Add them slowly to the batter mixing gently with a spatula from underneath to the surface.
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9x13inch baking dish.
- Bake it at 350F for 30-40 mins or until golden brown.(if you bake it in a metal pan, the baking time is slightly lower than in a glass pan)
- While the cake is baking prepare the glaze:
- In a bowl mix the egg yolks and powder sugar together.
- When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and pour immediately the egg yolks glaze over the cake. Use a spatula to flatten the surface.
- Return it to the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Shut off the oven and leave the cake inside for another 5 minutes until the glaze gets hard.
- Wait until the cake completely cools down. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the cake.
- Slice the cake in squares, using a very sharp serrated knife.