When my blogging buddy Sarah of Curious Cuisiniere informed me she wanted to gather a group of bloggers to celebrate the Tour de France I thought it’d be fun to join in. While I don’t watch or follow the race (sorry, bikers, tennis and soccer trump you in our house), I can appreciate some good food!
The idea behind today’s blogging event is to eat through the race route. The race starts in Mont-Sait-Michel, dips into Spain and Switzerland, and ends in Paris.
My recipe today comes from Southwest France, more specifically, Aquitaine. Aquitaine has a little bit of everything – from seaside to mountains to woodland and farmland. The area is known for its wine, truffles, and walnuts. Northeast Aquitaine, the Dordogne area, is considered to be one of the oldest populaces in Europe. Pau in Southern Aquitaine is Stage 8 of Le Tour De France.
I decided to make a walnut cake. Those cyclists need some sugar to keep going, right?! I adore this cake, and it couldn’t be any simpler to make. I’ll admit, I was skeptical because it doesn’t have a leavening agent in it. And I was converting metric units to American measurements. Technically… I used 13 extra grams of butter and somewhere between a third and a half cup extra flour, but hey, it worked! The cake didn’t rise (or if it did I couldn’t tell) but that didn’t mean it was dense. This walnut cake was somehow fluffy, sweet, and had texture from the ground nuts. A perfect base for some chocolate.
And it wasn’t at all my mid morning snack this week….
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, divided use
- 1 1/2 C halved walnuts
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 C flour
- 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 C heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ circle cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and 3/4 C powdered sugar.
- Place the walnuts in a food process and pulse until finely ground, but having some texture. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the remaining 3/4 C powdered sugar.
- Add the walnut mixture to the butter and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add a pinch of salt and the flour, mix until combined.
- Transfer cake batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in the pan.
- Put chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Allow ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. Garnish with extra walnuts if desired.
*This recipe is adapted from http://southweststory.com/french-south-west-gastronomy*
See what the other bloggers have made from the other regions on the race route. Be sure to visit each one to learn more about the regions on the route and to enjoy a taste of the cuisine! Show us how you plan to eat your way though Le Tour de France all month long with the hashtag #TourDeManger !
- Chicken Normandy from North Western France by Curious Cuisiniere
- Rillettes de Tours from Loire Valley by The Petit Gourmet
- Escalivada from Catlonia, Spain by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Coca de Espinacas from Catlonia, Spain by Manu’s Menu
- Tapenade from South France by Caroline’s Cooking
- Meitschibei (Swiss Hazelnut Horseshoe Pastires) from Bern, Switzerland by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Three easy dishes for a taste of Summer in Paris from Confessions of a Culinary Diva