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French Walnut Roll

ingredients

serves 6
butter for greasing
30 ml (2 tbsp) flour
pinch of salt
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder
6 eggs, separated
125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
125 g (4 oz) walnuts, coarsely ground For the filling and decoration
caster sugar for sprinkling
425 ml (15 fl oz) thick cream
75 - 100 ml (3 - 4 oz) caster sugar
icing sugar for dredging
8 walnut halves

method

1. Grease a 23 x 35 cm /9 x 14 in Swiss roll tin. Line the tin with greaseproof paper and grease the lining paper. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and reserve.

3. Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk lightly together using a balloon or hand-held electric whisk. Set the bowl over a pan half full of hot water. (The bowl should sit snugly and should not touch the water.) Continue whisking until the mixture will hold the trail of the whisk for 3 seconds - about 15 minutes whisking by hand or 5 minutes using an electric whisk.

4. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk until the mixture is cool. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the walnuts.

5. in a clean bowl and using a scrupulously dry whisk, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whites into the walnut mixture. Then gently but thoroughly fold in the sifted flour.

6. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cake is well risen and springs back when lightly pressed.

7. While the cake is baking, cut 2 pieces of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the size of the tin. Lay one piece on a damp tea-towel and sprinkle with 15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) caster sugar.

8. Turn out the baked cake onto the sugared paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim away the crusty edges, then lay the remaining piece of greaseproof paper over the cake. with the aid of the towel and paper, roll up the cake from one of the long ends with the top piece of paper inside. Place the cake, seam side down, on a wire rack, cover with the damp tea-towel and leave until completely cold.

9. Not more than an hour before serving, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks and sweeten to taste with caster sugar. Carefully unroll the cold cake and remove the paper. Spread most of the cream evenly over the surface, then roll up the cake again. (This time without the paper inside!)

10. Place the cake on a long, flat serving plate, dredge thickly with sifted icing sugar and garnish with cream and walnut halves.

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