Starting the day properly: Walnuts and lemon cake


I would like to open the blog with a recipe from one of my favourite cooking book so far, it was a Chistmas gift from my fiancee’s mother, who I love ❤ and the note said “To Sofia, our next chef!”.. so you can understand that I had great expectations from this book.

It is called Jamie’s Italy, by the super famous chef Jamie Oliver. I know it is a bit weird to learn new Italian recipes from an English chef, if you are Italian, but.. I feel to say that it is really useful, because there are written the deepest secrets he discovered while he was travelling all around Italy, joining food festivals and open-air markets, speaking with a lot of people, ranging from the farmer to the most well-known pastry chef. So basically it is a collection of recipes, not rearranged, coming from Italian tradition.. good job Jamie! 🙂

Now, let’s make this cake! It is a traditional Tuscany cake, learnt from a girl called Sara who helped him cooking while he was there, she has always prepared this cake with her mother, who learnt from her grandmother, who..blabla.. you know how it works in Italy: each region has its own characteristic dishes, brought from decades till now. It is fashinating <3.

If you haven’t a lot of time but want a delicious cake (trust me), this is perfect for you! It is really easy to make and takes just 15 mins to mix the ingredients and 40 mins to cook in the oven, in addiction it is likely you have all the ingredients in the kitchen right now! (sometimes, ..sometimes,.. we are a bit lazy, aren’t we? 🙂 ).

So, first of all:

  1. Organize everything you need on the table:
    • 500 g of ’00’ flour
    • 400 g of sugar
    • 250 g of butter
    • 4 eggs, possibly organic
    • 1 organic lemon (skin and juice)
    • 7 g of powder yeast
    • 100 g of walnuts 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (in this way you don’t have to wait later 🙂 )
  3. Start sieving the flour into a small colander. This seems useless, but sometimes flour can develop clumps when exposed to moisture, and they can spoil our creation 😦 . Weight 500g setaccia farina
  4. Weight 7g of baker yeast and mix it with the flour59_2.jpg
  5. Weight 400g of sugar59_3.jpg
  6. Take the lemon, peel it using a grater and cut it half. Stick a fork into the two parts to squeeze the juice out, using the same bowl where you put the lemon skin (I try to avoid dirtying too many dishes 😀 ).                                                                        Scorza-succo limone.JPG
  7. Melt 250g of butter over low heat (it would be better to let it soften at room temperature, but it needs more time)                                       butter
  8. Whisk 4 eggs in an other bigger bowl for a few minutes, until you see uniform colour. Add firstly the lemon skin and juice,  then the sugar and whisk again. Little by little add the mixture of flour and baker yeast and the melted butter.                                           eggs and mixture
  9. Blend homogeneously the dough and use a big wooden spoon/spatula when it starts becoming more solid. Continue a few mins untill it seems ready (it will be a bit compact)                                                                                                                               making dough
  10. Cover a 30cm diameter baking pan (I used a rectangular one, it is the same)  with baking paper. Pour the mixture inside it with the spatula. Then, lay the halves of walnuts on top, they will be toasted when the cake is cooked (yummy!). If you prefer, you can substitute the walnuts with pine nuts   .end cake.JPG
  11. Place the baking pan into the preheated oven and cook it for 35-40 mins, until the surface is golden and when a spaghetti inserted in the center comes out clean (am I Italian or not?! 😀 ).

Enjoy, and let me know if you liked it too! 🙂 ❤

N.B. On smart Brown’s suggestion, I clarify which type of yeast I used: it is instant dried yeast. Using it, you don’t have to wait extra time (like leaving the dough to rise), as it works when heated in the oven.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Brown says:

    Apologies for the probably silly question but, why use baking yeast (in the ingredients you said baking powder but from the picture it looks like the yeast for bread) if you don’t leave the dough to rise?


    1. Hi Brown! Thank you for the question, it is not silly at all, on the contrary it can be useful to everyone! 🙂 I used instant dried yeast, it is really convenient because it has fast action: it works when heated. For this reason, the dough rises inside the preheated oven and you don’t have to wait extra time:)


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