Walnut Cake

3/4 pound walnuts, about 3 cups
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 teaspoons oloroso sherry
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Lightly butter a 10-inch, spring-form pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and lightly butter paper. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine. Set aside 2 tablespoons of nuts to sprinkle over top of finished cake. Combine the flour and baking powder and stir into remaining walnuts until evenly mixed.

Beat the egg yolks until well-blended, then gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light and lemon-colored and eggs form a ribbon when dropped from a spoon. Stir in the orange zest. Stir in ground walnut mixture.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold a large spoonful of beaten egg whites into walnut mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Spoon cake batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved 2 tablespoons of walnuts over it. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until puffed and golden. Remove to wire rack to cool to warm. As cake cools, it will settle.

Combine the whipped cream and oloroso sherry. Sift the powdered sugar through a small strainer into whipped cream and stir until blended.

Serve a slice of cake with a dollop of oloroso whipped cream. Makes 12 servings.

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