This is a traditional Perigord gourmet cooking recipe by Chef Eric Barbe,which he serves at the Le Manoir de Bellerive, a four-star hotel with agastronomic restaurant near the Dordogne River. Located in the heart of Perigord,the manor is a magnificent property where time seems to stand still and localheritage is honored. Perigord is known for exquisite black truffles that are someof the best in the world, but perhaps even more than that, Perigord is famous forits walnuts. Groves of walnut trees the line the landscape of Perigord Noir, someof which have existed for more than seventeen thousand years. The walnut has played an important role in the culture and commerce ofthe region. Historically, peasants used to pay their debts with walnuts andmerchants considered walnut oil as precious as gold. Walnuts thus make anappearance in many Perigord dishes, both sweet and savory, and are made intooils and liqueurs. One of the most popular walnut recipes known around France is
the Perigord walnut cake, a soft and fluffy cake with crunchy walnuts coveredwith chocolate icing and garnished with more walnuts. This is a very simple andquite an easy cake recipe to make. While the Perigord diet is considerably rich by most standards, the regionhas the second-lowest rate of heart disease in the world. Locals attribute this factto the walnut, which contain properties that lower cholesterol levels, reducestress, and impart energy. To make this recipe, you need walnut alcohol or liqueur. You can also useNocino, which is a dark brown liqueur from Northern Italy made from unripegreen walnuts. The walnuts are steeped in the spirit and mixed with syrup. Thiskind of liqueur has a bittersweet flavor and can be made at home, which ispopularly done in local villages.Ingredients 3 ½ tablespoons flour 6 tablespoons butter 6 tablespoons sugar 3 egg yolks 5 ¼ oz. (about 2/3 cup) chopped walnuts 15 egg whites 1.76 oz. dark chocolate 0.7 oz. (about 1 ½ tablespoons) cream
Preparation Instructions1. Crack the eggs and separate yolks from whites. Whisk yolks with sugar. Gentlymelt the butter over the heat and mix in with the yolk and sugar mixture. Add theflour. Blend in chopped walnuts. Continue whisking at a constant rate and speed,to get an even consistency. Add walnut alcohol and continue whipping.2. Whip up the egg whites until foamy. Gently add to the yolk mixture, folding it inwith a spatula. The mixture will be very runny, which is normal.3. Brush cake mold with melted butter and sprinkle with some flour. Place thecake mixture in the mold. Flatten it with a spatula and pop it in the oven for aboutthirty-five minutes at a hundred and eighty degrees.4. Remove the mold placing the cake on a tray or piece of cardboard. Coat thecake with melted chocolate. Decorate with walnuts and serve.