Walnut and Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Walnut and Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Walnut and Dark Chocolate Cake with Autumn Poached Fruit.

This light, delicious and nutritious cake is gluten-free and paleo. It is a beautiful cake for autumn, celebrating freshly harvested nuts. It is also wonderful served with poached fruit such as pears or plums which are in abundance now.

We use Uncle Joe’s Walnuts from the Marlborough region, which we stock in Scarecrow, as they are freshly harvested, flavoursome and full of natural oils. We recommend that you use fresh nuts in any baking recipes. Did you know that walnuts are a great source of Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin B6?


6 eggs – separated
Walnut flour 125 grams (grind your fresh Uncle Joe’s walnuts to quite fine)
200 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely grated as above
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Rind of 1 orange (or replace with 1 tsp orange essence)
50 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Pinch salt
Scant cup raw sugar (if you are using a bitter chocolate you may increase the sugar 20%)

Line your heavy-based cake tin with greased baking paper.

Beat egg yolks hard with 1/2 the sugar until the mix thickens. Add in melted butter, vanilla and orange rind, beat again. Add pinch salt.
Beat egg whites to stiff, gradually add the rest of sugar and continue to beat.
Add a small portion of whites to yolk mix and FOLD in with metal spoon, continue to add small quantities of whites until they are all incorporated. Fold in the ground walnuts and chocolate (ground walnuts).
Pour into cake tin. Place in centre of oven and fan bake at 180C until risen in centre and firm to fingertips (about 30 mins). Baking times depend on your oven.

You can top the cooled cake with a dark chocolate ganash and sprinkling of ground walnuts, or simply sprinkle icing sugar and serve with yoghurt or whipped cream.

Poached pears or plums in red wine:

Boil 1 cup of raw sugar with 1/2 cup each of red wine and water
Add spices: one stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed cardamom, dessert spoon of Juniper berries.
Boil hard until the liquid begins to thicken (about 10 minutes).
Turn down heat to gentle simmer. Place in poaching fluid either 6 – 8 peeled whole pears (remove the core if you like); or 8 plums, cut in half with stone removed. Cook gently.
Pears will take about 15 minutes (depending on their ripeness, they should be soft to serve but not breaking up) and plums will take less than 5 minutes to poach. Delicious served warm with cake.

PRIZE!!! Send us in a photo of your Walnut and Chocolate Cake, Andrew our chef will decide on a winner to receive a pottle of Uncle Joe’s Walnuts! Send your photos to: store@scarecrow.co.nz or post to our Facebook page

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