Gateau Aux Noix–this rich an delicious cake comes from Julia Child’s ” Mastering the Art of French Cooking”–Volume II (if you have the book, it is page 490 in the 39th edition) !! I had previously made another one of Julia’s Walnut cakes called Le Brantome which is a fluffier cousin of this recipe. Having make both cakes, I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. However, the richness of this particular cake, makes it more suitable for layering.
The recipe make one 9 by 1.5 inch cake. I wanted two layers, so I doubled the recipe. Here is what I did:
2 cups of chopped walnuts
6 Tbsp of sugar, plus another 1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup all -purpose flour
6 large eggs
8 Tbsp of butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans.
Grind 2 cups of walnuts with 6 Tbsp of sugar in a food processor. You might want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your processor. It is also important to add sugar with each batch of walnuts, it prevents the oils in the nuts to turn it into “butter” while grinding.
Mix the nut mixture with 2 cups of flour and pass the entire mixture through a sieve–this will separate out the larger chunks of nuts and allow for even incorporation of the the flour and nut mixture.
Next, cream butter, the remaining 1 cup of sugar till pale and creamy. Then add the eggs and mix well.
Finally, slowly fold in the nut and flour mixture in batches, ensuring that each batch of the dry ingredients is well incorporated before the next batch is added.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 20 mins.
The cake is perfectly wonderful with just a dusting of sugar. However, I used the two layers to turn it into a layered birthday cake. Let me know walk you through the assembly.
Assembling the cake–you will need:
Fresh Raspberries (filling and decoration)
Chocolate drizzle ( for decoration, I bought it !)
Walnuts ( whole and ground for decoration)
Crushed, freeze dried raspberries (for decoration)
1 batch of my Marscapone Whipped Cream Frosting
Note: For this cake, had about 4 cups of frosting leftover from the Spice Cake that I made a few weeks ago. I froze down the frosting, however when thawing, the frosting becomes loose and runny (bottom image on the left). To fix it, add another 8oz of marscapone and 2-3 Tbsp of sugar–depending on how sweet you want it.
Assembling the cake is pretty easy. I added a layers of frosting on the bottom cake, topped the frosting with raspberries and then pressed down the top cake layer.
Next I added a crumb coat to fill in all the holes and press down the crumbs. Chill this for at least 10-15 mins.
Next, I added the rest of the frosting, as patiently as I could to ensure a smooth surface and edges.
Finally, I decorated the cake according to the design I drew out, you can check that out here
This time, I remembered to take a picture of the cake once we cut into it !