Walnut Cake, The Kind You’d Find At A Local Bakery

This walnut cake is an adaptation of the viral butter cake recipe by Mrs Ng S K that has been making its rounds around the net. It is interesting to note taste/textural preferences in the East versus the West. While in the West, the thick crust and hefty chew of the sourdough has been celebrated, I find that (until recent years) the Asian palate has always tended towards the lighter, shreddable Hokkaido milk bread. When you think about cheesecake, while it’s always dense and rich in the West, the cheesecakes that are sold in local bakeries tend to be more airy and fluffy. Same goes for the cakes. While you have butter cakes and walnut cakes in Singapore, they are always more spongy. I find that this lightness makes them really dangerous because it makes you want to go back for another slice.

Walnut butter cake

50g walnuts, toasted (I used 50g walnuts, but will up it to 80g next time)

180g self-raising flour, sifted

250g salted butter, room temperature

120g sugar

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

60g milk

4 egg whites

50g sugar

30g walnuts, roughly broken up

1. Pulse the walnuts in a blender or food processor until fine but not powdery – you still want to see bits of walnuts.

2. Add walnuts to flour and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy

4. Add egg yolks gradually, then add vanilla

5. Add half of the flour into the butter mixture, then all of the mix, then the rest of the flour.

6. Whisk the egg whites until foamy.

7. Gradually add 50g sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

8. Whisk a third of the whites into the butter mixture, then fold in the remaining whites in 2 batches.

9. Pour into a lined and lightly greased 8” pan, smooth the top.

10. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

11. Bake 170C, 35-45 minutes. You might need to turn the oven temperature down to 150C if the cake is getting too dark. The cake is ready when a toothpick poked into the centre emerges clean. Rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then flip onto wire rack to cool.

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Author:

Pamelia Chia is a Singaporean chef and the author of the bestselling cookbook ‘Wet Market to Table’. After graduating with an Honor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore in 2014, she decided to trade a food scientist’s lab coat in for chef whites. She has since been working in restaurants in Singapore and Melbourne, including Candlenut and Carlton Wine Room. Her deepest interest being the preservation and celebration of Singaporean food heritage and culture, she started Singapore Noodles in 2020 as a platform to share about Singaporean food to a global audience. Find her on Instagram @pameliachia.

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