For the Cake:
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups walnut halves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
For the Glaze:
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine (for kosher) or butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Chopped toasted walnuts, for topping
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Put the walnuts, cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground but not powdery. Whisk the egg yolks, orange zest and vanilla, if using, in a small bowl.
Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in the yolk mixture and dates, then fold in the ground walnut mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack, then run a knife along the sides and invert the cake onto a platter.
Make the glaze: Put the chocolate, margarine and honey in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the margarine melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, then pour over the cake. Top with walnuts.
Photograph by Jonny Valiant
Note: If you are concerned if the oils or other ingredients in these recipes are suitable for Passover, seek non-dairy substitutes or ingredients that are certified kosher for Passover.