There once was a girl with a food blog. Her name was Jean and oh, how she loved it so! Cooking, photographing and writing were pure delight day in and day out. She often daydreamed about food and was happily preoccupied about expanding her cooking repertoire. Taste was her favorite of all the senses. Her friends in the blogging community kept her company and she enjoyed sharing her kitchen adventures as much as she read about theirs. Her blogging life was perfect!
Alas, summer arrived and fun adventures left Jean without enough time to spare in the kitchen. Instead of creating new dishes she reverted to serving old standbys that were old news to her blog. Her foodie friends grew concerned by her absence and she appreciated this so much. She managed a new post here and there to keep her poor blog going but time still wasn’t on her side. How she has missed the thrill of a new post and connecting with her friends but she had faith the new season would allow for her normal life to resume.
Unfortunately, a big bad wolf in the form of a health issue posed an even bigger threat to the survival of her blog. She wasn’t the one attacked but instead it threatened someone near and dear to her. It has been lurking, threatening to kill the joy in her humble little home. What’s a girl to do?
The past month has been spent preparing for the big day when the big bad wolf would hopefully be cast away for good. She and her prince made temporary lifestyle/diet changes (most not blog-worthy) to fortify themselves but made equal effort to sprinkle as much happiness to each day as possible. Would the big bad wolf blow down their house?
The big day came this week. Her prince, ever so courageous, walked into battle to face the biggest challenge of his life. Fear threatened to overthrow his will but losing to the wolf was not to be. By his strength he conquered the wolf and after some recovery they expect life to return to normal and they will live (and blog) happily ever after!
Yes, I have been cooking here and there and originally planned to break my blogging fast with a savory dish. However, I couldn’t resist giving you something sweet instead. This recipe was contributed to Food & Wine by Jean Calviac of Gascon, a Michelin-starred French restaurant in London. They are rich and impossibly moist. The walnut frosting is truly heavenly. Hope you enjoy it!
* from Food & Wine 2002
- 2 cups walnut halves (1/2 pound)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan and line the bottom with wax paper or parchment. Finely grind 1 cup of the walnuts with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat 4 tablespoons of the butter with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the ground walnuts.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the walnut batter, then pour into the prepared pan. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the batter. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is set and begins to pull away from the side of the pan. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the side of the pan and turn the cake out onto a serving plate to cool completely.
- In a food processor, pulse the remaining 1 cup of walnuts with the confectioners’ sugar until finely ground. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse until creamy. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Using the edge of a tablespoon, make a decorative pattern in the frosting. Cut the cake into 1-by-2-inch bars and serve.