The recipe of these supernal chocolate-walnut slices is more than 60 years old, my granny left it to us in her cookbook. Walnut is a popular ingredient of pastries baked during the fall-winter season in Hungary, many people can’t imagine the holidays without a walnut dessert.
The base is a thin shortcrust-like dough, which is loosened with yeast and baking soda. The next layer is a so called walnut foam consisting of whipped egg whites, beaten egg yolks and ground walnuts. So far it looks like an everyday walnut cake, but now comes a twist.
The secret is a spice blend that makes the dessert incomparable: it’s made of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice – all ground, in equal portions. The filling is spread on the dough and baked together. And finally, when it’s completely cool, top is covered with chocolate glaze. It sounds good, doesn’t it?
For the dough:
- 210 g (~1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 70 g (~1/3 cup) sugar
- 140 g (~2/3 cup) butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 g fresh yeast (1/2 tsp dry yeast)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 180 g (~1 cup) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 8 egg whites
- 250 g (~3 cups) ground walnuts
- zest of a lemon
- 1-2 tsp spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice – all ground)
For the glaze:
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) sweet or semi-sweet dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp rum
- 30 g (~2 tbsp) butter
Size of the baking pan: 30×35 cm (12×14 inch)
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F. Grease a baking pan.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and knead them into a smooth dough. On a floured surface roll out the dough into a thin rectangle and transfer into the greased baking pan. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peaks form. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, salt, lemon zest and spice blend. Gently fold the ground walnuts into the whipped egg whites, then pour in the egg yolk mixture and lightly stir until well combined. Spread the filling on the dough evenly, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cake cool.
Place the chocolate broken into pieces, milk, rum and butter into a saucepan and melt them together. Stir until the glaze becomes homogenous. Spread it over the top of the cake, and let it set before slicing.