This chocolate walnut cake is one of those Italian cakes that gets it's distinct Italian flavor from a secret ingredient. A teeny tiny hint of anise and cinnamon. The anise is optional and if you leave it out - you will still get a wonderful chocolate walnut cake flavor!
There are a couple of extra steps in this recipe. It came from an old fashioned recipe called "Lady Betty Cake". And I can't even remember where I found it.
So, keeping with the spirit of the recipe I followed old school protocol:
I know that anise can be a scary fear factor food ingredient. It's just an option.
Thanks for stopping by and if you have questions see substitutions and FAQs in the section below the recipe. And if you didn't find what you were looking for see my homepage for ideas - Italian Dessert Recipes
4 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate ( I use unsweetened)
4 egg whites
12 tablespoons butter, warmed to room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1-2/3 cups flour, measure then sift
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup milk
Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
* Preheat oven to 325 F.
* In a small saucepan carefully melt the chocolate so that it doesn't scorch.
* In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, set aside.
* Toast the walnuts in the oven just enough to smell fragrant, but not to brown. Let cool then chop.
* In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks until light and fluffy.
* In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts. Mixing just until combined.
* Combine milk, melted chocolate into the egg/butter/sugar mixture by alternating each addition. (ie don't dump and stir everything together.)
* With a spatula, gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
* Transfer to a well-greased Bundt pan.
* Bake for 60- or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
* If you like, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Or use a standard chocolate glaze, like I did in this picture.
Add 'em if you want. I would swap out the amount of walnuts with the amount of raisins you add. And too, you could always soak the raisins in bourbon or rum for an extra zing!
Yes you do! And no you can't combine them. The egg whites help give the cake a lift. And the process is what gives this a really nice texture.
Absolutely! The Lady Betty cake never had it. It was an addition I made for my Italian cakes collection.
Back to the the Chocolate Walnut Cake Recipe