Warm, nutty sponge with floral honey, fragrant pear and fresh, zingy Irish goat’s cheese
For the walnut cake:
4 eggs, separated
100g golden caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
350g walnuts, finely chopped
4 red pears, such as red anjou or bartlett
A few sprigs of rosemary
4 tbsp Italian chestnut honey
250g Corleggy goat’s cheese, at room temperature
Line a 23cm cake tin with baking parchment and set the oven to 180C.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugars and honey until pale and fluffy. Gently fold in the walnuts.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl to stiff peaks. Gently fold in a third of them into the walnut mixture. When incorporated, repeat with the remaining whites in 2 increments. Gently mix in the oil. Pour the finished mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Cut the pears in half and then in quarters. Remove the core and place on a hot grill pan with the rosemary to scorch. Drizzle with the honey.
Slice the cake and serve with a couple of wedges of pear and a slice of the Corleggy cheese.
Recipe: Paula McIntyre