OK, I admit that this recipe isn’t truly Spanish any more. It started out life as a Spanish walnut cake recipe that I came across in the early nineties, but it’s wandered a bit since then. As it happens, I could tell you an interesting story or two about a Spanish nut, but that was more than thirty years ago and I’m sure Carmen will have calmed down by now. I know I have.
This cake is great with tea but, I think, goes even better with coffee. Or maybe even a small sherry. It will also work well as a dessert with a little dash or two of something creamy. Although the walnuts and pecans combine well in this cake, you could adjust the ratio and type of nuts as the mood takes you and, if you don’t have any Frangelico, feel free to substitute another liqueur or even a flavoured syrup. This cake is pretty filling so expect to get at least 12 slices unless you’re really hungry.
125 g butter, softened
250 g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
125 g plain flour, sieved
1½ tsp baking powder
zest of ½ lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
2 tbsp Frangelico
100 g pecans, crushed (not too small)
100 g walnuts, crushed (not too small)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 23cm round cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, followed by the flour and baking powder. Stir in the lemon zest, vanilla, Frangelico and the nuts.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold in gently but thoroughly.
Put the mixture into the prepared tin, level it out and bake for about 40 minutes. A knifepoint inserted into the cake should come out clean when it’s done. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the tin before turning out to cool completely on a rack.