This rich tasting walnut cake is as delicious as it is easy. Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts there are, and are an excellent source of omega 3 fats, and in a cake... like this, they bring all their plusses to the dessert table. Moist in texture, this cake uses no leavening, and only has the air you beat into it to work with, in fact it doesn’t rise much at all, barely reaching above the tops of the flan cases. The chocolate creme filling is not overly sweet. It uses no sugar beyond what’s already in the bittersweet baking chocolate, which tartness of the yogurt complements perfectly for a rich creamy filling. A light dusting of powdered sugar is all that’s needed to finish it. Try it.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 2 x 9 ” flan tins with parchment paper. Set aside. In a food processor add the walnuts sprinkled with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Processing the nuts with a little sugar will keep them from forming a paste. Pulse until you have a fine meal. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter with 1 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat until each is well blended in before adding another.
With a spatula fold in the walnuts and then the grated carrot. Sift the flour over the batter and fold in until well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared tins. Lightly smooth the tops. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside on a rack to cool in the tins.
Meanwhile make the chocolate filling: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat and beat in the yogurt until well combined. Set aside. Take the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and grind in a coffee grinder until it resembles a fine white powder. Set aside (see Ann’s tips).
Assemble the cake. While still in the tin, place a plate over one of the cakes and flip it. Lift off the tin and peel off the parchment paper. Spread the top with the chocolate filling almost to the edges. Flip the second cake onto a plate in the same way. Lift off the tin and remove the parchment paper. Slide it from the plate onto the top of the first cake using a palette knife to place it if needed. It should cover the first cake completely. Lightly press together. When ready to serve, sift the powdered sugar over the top of the cake.
2 1/3 cups of walnut halves = approximately 8 ounces.
Instead of all purpose flour, you can use wholewheat pastry flour for more fiber.
In step 4, instead of grinding the sugar, you can use 1/8 cup confectioners sugar instead.