This recipe comes from the restaurant at the Locanda del Palazzo in Barile, Italy. It contains no flour and no egg yolks, yet the cake is spongy and light.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides of the pan with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Combine 3 of the egg whites and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often; the mixture will look like opaque slush. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer; beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Add the chopped walnuts to the egg white-sugar mixture, stirring to coat them thoroughly. Fold in a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites to lighten the mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining beaten egg whites, trying not to deflate them as you work. Transfer the batter to the pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry.
Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from "Adventures From an Italian Food Lover," by Faith Heller Willinger (Clarkson Potter, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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