Victor has been whining for years to Marie about a Walnut Cream Cake she used to make way back when. The original recipe came from Bon Appetit in Philadelphia – an upscale kitchenware store with a cafè upstairs. Marie worked there back in the day and got the recipe straight from them. She hasn’t made it in years because once upon a time everyone was young and nobody cared about what they were eating.  Today, we’re not as young – and at least pretend to be sensible. Sometimes. The cake is nothing but fat. A pound of butter, 8 egg yolks, cups of heavy cream… You get the picture. It is not a dieter’s dessert. It’s a cardiologist’s nightmare – or delight, depending on your point of view.

But it is a dessert for a Social Security Birthday! And I had never had it, before.

Marie finally found the recipe and sent it off to me a few days ago. I made the cake Monday for tonight’s celebration. OMFG! This may just be the most decadent dessert in the history of decadent desserts. It’s almost indescribable.


It is rich, it is buttery, the kirsch hits you gently – but it hits you. It’s there. The drizzle of chocolate completes it. The whole thing just melts on your tongue.

As simple as simple can be. It takes a few steps, but nothing is difficult.

Walnut Cream Cake

1) Heat up 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups of milk. *

2) In a 2 or 3 qt saucepan, blend 8 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, and 2 tbsp arrowroot.

3) Stir in 6 tbsp Kirsch.

4) Slowly add milk and cream mixture and heat on medium flame until it thickens. **

5) Toast 1 lb walnuts and grind to very fine.

6) Cream in Cuisinart till fluffy 1 lb unsalted butter.

7) Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and blend.

8) Blend in ground nuts.

9) Fold in pudding (after it has cooled.)

10) Pour into a lined cake pan.

* If you heat the cream and milk up to hot (not boiling) it will thicken faster.

** Don’t let this come to a boil. It won’t get real thick but it will thicken somewhat.

I used a basic 10″ springform pan lined with plastic wrap. The fun thing about making something you’ve never made before with basic instructions and no pictures, is you get to do what you want with the finished product! Crushed walnuts on the side, and walnut halves on the top to make everything look pretty. It is a birthday cake, after all!

Victor had a vague memory about it being drizzled with a sauce, so I drizzled it with a warm fudge sauce.

Simple elegance.

Five of us ate less than a quarter of the cake. I’m going to portion this up and put it in the freezer – and pull out a slice when I’m feeling especially bad.

It’s worth it.