Friday, July 11, 2014

Engadine Nut Cake (Swiss Nut Cake)

It's winter over here in Melbourne and winter to me means cold, short days and snow. I get two out of those three, unfortunately hardly ever snow though! Growing up in Germany meant we were not too far from Switzerland which meant we could go skiing some years. I remembered vividly one time when we went skiing my grandmother on my father's side came with us and the day we arrived we went to this cafe and had 'Engadiner Nusstorte', a swiss nut cake from the region of Engadine.

Not only have I had the cake there, but it's also my father's favourite cake that my mother would make for his birthday in November every year. 

I had a craving for this, given it's winter now. When I asked my mother in Germany for her recipe and send her a photo of the finished cake in return she said "That looks so autumnal, it's 30°C over here...". So while my family is enjoying the heat, I'm creating a little piece of Swiss winter on this side of the world.

Engadine Nut Cake
200g butter
430g sugar
lemon zest
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
400g flour
300g cream
4 Tbsp honey
400g chopped walnuts
2cl Kirschwasser (if desired, you can find it in most bottleshops)
for brushing the top 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk

Mix the butter, lemon zest and 180g of the sugar. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix well. Slowly add the flower and knead to a shortcrust pastry consistency. Roll into a ball, cover in cling wrap and cool in the fridge for half an hour.

Melt 250g of sugar, add cream and honey, mix well and bring to the boil. Add nuts and Kirschwasser (if you're using it). Mix and let cool.

Grease a springform pan and preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out a little more than half the pastry and lay into the pan, forming a two cm high edge. Pour the filling on top and fold the edge over the mixture (see photo). 
Roll out the remaining pastry and put on top the mixture, gently press together the edges using a fork. You can either make a pattern on top using a fork or if you have some pastry left over cut out some leaves and put on top. Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush the top of the cake. 
Bake for 45 minutes, you might have to cover it with some alumium foil towards the end. 
Let cool and serve.

Engadine nut cake keeps for a few weeks, that is if you don't eat it quicker...

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