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Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Walnut Cream Sauce




Recipe from Ciao Italia Family Classics



For special occasions, I turn to this wonderful fudgy and dense chocolate cake with a smooth and dreamy cream and walnut sauce.

Number of Servings

Makes one 9-inch cake


2 cups walnut halves
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt, divided
Zest of 1 large orange
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or orange liquor, divided
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
Orange slices, for garnish

Preparation - Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch-by-11/2-inch round baking dish. Line the dish with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan and lightly butter the paper. Set aside.

2. Place the walnuts in a medium-sized sauté pan and, over low heat, stir them until they are fragrant. Do not let them burn. Cool and transfer 11/3 cups of the nuts to a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Set aside; reserve remaining nuts.

3. Melt 1 stick of butter. Stir in the chocolate, and mix until smooth and well blended. Set aside.

4. Beat the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl with a hand-held mixer until the mixture thickens. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, the orange zest, and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla or orange liquor. Stir in the ground walnuts, then stir in the chocolate and pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not over-bake the cake; it should remain moist. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes.

6. Run a butter knife along the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Invert the cake and place it on a cake plate.

7. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, making sure that the paste is smooth and well blended. Slowly pour in the cream, and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and has thickened.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the remaining walnuts and 1 teaspoon of vanilla or orange liquor.

8. To serve, cut the cake into wedges and pour some of the sauce over the top. Garnish with orange slices.