When I was five, I just so happened to have two Birthday parties. Well, the second one was more like using my birthday as an excuse for the grown-ups to have another party. Needless to say the cake was a quite grown-up too. I remember this beautiful sheet cake coming out of the box decorated with soft pink sugar roses. And the cake, was light and fluffy yet it tasted so rich and decadent. It was a walnut cake and that was the last time I had tasted something like that. Till last fall. I was watching old “The French Chef” re-runs on PBS when Julia Child whipped up Le Brantome, a walnut cake for a “very important person” (my guess would be that it was Paul Child). The cake did not have a buttercream filling or sugar roses but looked and sounded just like that birthday cake. I had to make it. And, so I did–with a modern twist–cupcakes ! And my VIP — my dear friend Eilish.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup ground walnuts
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped over ice water
1.Preheat the oven to 350 and fill a cupcake pan with lines. This batter with yield 24 cupcakes.
2.whip the cream over ice and set it aside.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are thick, creamy and light yellow – about 5 minutes. Then add the vanilla and salt.
4.Sift the flour and baking powder into the eggs in parts, alternating with the walnuts and cream. Fold in a third of the flour, then a third of the walnuts, then a third of the cream, then another third of the flour and so on until it’s all folded together. This is a beautiful creamy looking batter.
5. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter into the cupcake pan.
6. Bake on the middle rack for 25minutes.
7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them. I cheated and used store bought buttercream frosting.
You will need about two cans to frost 24 cupcakes.
To see Julia in action: