Black Walnut and Almond Cake with Eiswein Sabayon and Vanilla Bean Caramel Pear Skewers

Total Time:
2 hr 32 min
1 hr 15 min
2 min
1 hr 15 min

8 servings

  • Cake:
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 cup black walnuts, ground in food processor
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground ladyfinger biscuits
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, ground in food processor
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Pears:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 vanilla beans
  • 2 pears, Bosc or Bartlett
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Sabayon:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup eiswein
  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, and line the base with parchment paper.

  • In a standing electric mixer whisk the yolks with the sugar until thick and light colored. Fold in chocolate, vanilla, and walnuts until just combined. Pour mixture into the prepared cake pan.

  • Using a clean bowl again with the whisk, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add icing sugar and continue beating until stiff. Gently fold in biscuits, almonds, and lemon juice.

  • Pour mixture on top of walnut mixture already in cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

  • Pears: Bring sugar and water to a boil in small pan. Let boil for 30 seconds, lower heat to a simmer and add vanilla beans.

  • Poach vanilla beans for 10 minutes, remove from syrup and let dry in oven set at a very low heat (160 degrees F) for 2 hours. Halve each vanilla bean, making 8 pieces.

  • Peel pears, halve, and remove seeds. Cut pears into large cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice, thread 3 to 4 cubes onto each vanilla bean.

  • Heat butter and sugar in pan until a caramel color is reached. Place pear skewers in caramelized butter and allow to caramelize on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skewers from pan.

  • Sabayon: Beat yolks with sugar in a medium bowl until light. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk in the eiswein. Beat until mixture triples in volume. Remove from heat and serve immediately with cake.

  • Serve with cake and sabayon.

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