If you’re a chocoholic, then this is your time to indulge.  Between Easter and Mother’s Day,  there are plenty of excuses to pay  tribute to the food of the gods. But once the fresh fruit ripens – cherries and peaches and plums, oh my! – the chocolate season will be officially over, at least in my book.

If you have a special occasion coming up, and you want a glamorous dessert  to serve, here’s an unusually light, flourless chocolate cake filled with a rich chocolate cream. It’s made with walnuts, so it’s heart-healthy as well as delicious.   

When my friend, Barb Fabrizio, brought this cake to a book club meeting, everyone clamored for the recipe.  It comes from “Private Collection: Recipes from the Junior League of Palo Alto,” published circa 1980.  Make this cake one  day before serving

Walnut Cake with Chocolate Cream

For cake:

9-10 ounces English walnuts

6 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

For chocolate cream:

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

5 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ cups heavy cream

For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Pulverize the walnuts in a food processor or blender until they become a fine powder. They should yield 2 cups. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until lemon-colored and fluffy. Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and fold into the egg whites. Fold in the powdered walnuts.

Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the sides and is lightly browned. Immediately invert the pans on racks. Cool slightly then remove cakes from pans and let stand 2 to 4 hours.

While the cakes cool, prepare the chocolate cream, which should be chilled up to 2 hours but no more.

For chocolate cream: Over medium heat, melt the chocolate in a medium-sized saucepan. With a whisk, stir in the sugar and then the cream. Stir constantly until the mixture almost comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Chill as instructed.