Walnut cake has been a common dessert in Greece for a long time, particularly for villagers with limited resources. Nuts are abundant in Greece, and they have been harvested since ancient times. Our friends at the Politismos Museum have written a nice article about the history of walnuts in Greece and how it was our neighbors the Persians who first brought walnuts to Greece. You can read it here.
The Greek word for walnut is karydia (καρυδιά), and this recipe in Greek is called karydopita (Καρυδόπιτα). In Danae’s recipe, she spices up the (otherwise bland) crumbled walnuts with cognac, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cloves. She then moistens – and sweetens – up the cake with a traditional Greek syrup.
This recipe is a little involved but worth it. It is a nice complement to foods based heavily on flour like pizza or pasta, since it has no flour (and only a small amount of semolina). As a dessert it goes well with ice cream, and it can also be served alone as a breakfast cake. It will last for several days without refrigeration.
Kale Orexi (Bon Appetit)!