Torta di Noci
(Italian walnut cake)
Walnuts (noci) are a favorite of the Italians, and this simple, dense cake makes excellent use of their rich, round flavor. Serve with a cappuccino or a hot cup of tea.
4 to 6 servings
- Walnuts -- 1/2 pound
- Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
- Butter, room temperature -- 8 tablespoons
- Sugar -- 2/3 cup
- Egg -- 1
- Rum, or rum extract -- 2 tablespoons, or 1 teaspoon
- Lemon zest -- 2 teaspoons
- Flour -- 1 cup
- Baking powder -- 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, taking care not to burn. Remove and cool.
- Place the walnuts in a food processor with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and pulse until well chopped but not pureed. Remove to a bowl.
- Add 7 tablespoons of the butter and the 2/3 cup sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add the egg, rum or rum extract and lemon zest and continue to beat until smooth.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. With the mixer still running on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a spatula, fold in the walnuts.
- Butter a 8 or 9-inch springform pan or regular cake pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter. Pour the batter into prepared pan and level it out with a knife or spatula.
- Place in the oven and bake 40 to 55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely and remove from the pan. Cut into wedges and serve topped with whipped cream.