Well hello! It’s been a LONG time. Over a month actually… I can’t believe how fast time flies and how busy life can get! As I tend to keep having to do, I’m apologizing again for my long absence! This semester has been my busiest one yet, but I think my favorite one as well. I’ve taken on new leadership positions, organized a huge campus-wide event, and am continuing to work part-time, take a full load of classes and play varsity golf.
Thankfully, it’s spring break and I’m spending my week here in St. Louis – catching up on sleep, schoolwork and finally getting a chance to cook something besides Trader Joe’s freezer meals and canned soup. Seriously… I hadn’t cooked anything more involved than grilled cheese since my last post about the Lemon Rosemary Bread. But here we are! I’ve got several great recipes to share and so for at least the next few weeks – I’ll have some things to post! Who knows what will happen as this school year starts to wrap up (and how is that possible?!!!!) but for now, I’ve got yummy things to share!
First up, I had to celebrate the beginning of spring break (and my long-awaited return to my kitchen) with a cake! I honestly had no idea what to expect of this recipe when I made it. The recipe came from a cookbook with no pictures and the short description said it would taste like shortbread. I had in my mind a moist cake that somehow had shortbread characteristics and in my head it just didn’t add up.
But let me tell you – this cake is amazing. It’s not a moist, tall cake like what you envision when you think of a cake – it’s more like shortbread or spritz cookies baked in a cake pan. The top of the cake is hard like shortbread but the middle of the cake is soft like spritz cookies. Wow. And it’s so simple! Just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand (if you don’t have cake flour, look up how you can turn all-purpose flour into cake flour).
Walnut Breton Cake
Recipe from Baking for All Occasions
Makes one 8-inch round cake, 12-14 servings
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch round cake pan, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Cut out a circle of parchment paper (trace it) to line the bottom. Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Stir together the flour and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed until it is lighter in color and has a satiny appearance, about 45 seconds. Maintaining the same speed, add the sugar in a steady stream. Stop the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl, then continue to beat at medium speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolks, one at a time. Continue to beat until well combined, sopping to scrap down the sides of the bowl at least once.
4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture and mix by hand until it is well combined. Stir in the walnuts. Spoon the thick batter into the prepared ban, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Use a fork to create a lattice design on the surface.
5. Bake the cake until it is golden brown on top, feels firm to the touch and is beginning to contract from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Carefully invert it onto a wire rack, peel off the parchment liner and turn it right-side-up. Let cool completely. To serve, cut the cake into small wedges with a sharp knife and enjoy!
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze.