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.
Makes one 9-inch cake
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.