This aromatic walnut cake perfectly embodies the essence of French home-cooking. It is humble, heart-warming, and reminiscent of the Jura region it originates from.
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Welcome to my Cooking with Friends series! Every two weeks, I invite some of my favorite food writing and blogging friends to share recipes with you. I hope you’ll have just as much fun cooking and baking with them as I do.
Today, I’m welcoming Audrey from the blog Pardon Your French. Audrey was born and raised in Brittany, France, and now lives in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. She’s a talented food stylist and photographer who strives to make French flavors and techniques accessible to every home cook. Her gorgeous blog, Pardon Your French, is filled with modern and classic French recipes you’ll find yourself craving for. Today, she’s sharing her recipe to make a Tangerine Honey Walnut Cake, a treat that originates from the Jura region of France. Enjoy!
We’re well into Fall, a treasured time of the year for us bakers and home-cooks. And to me, nothing says Fall more than baking a warm honey cake!
So, a few days ago, I dug into my pile of French cookbooks and I stumbled upon this very tempting and simple honey cake recipe from the French Jura. It features fir honey, winter citrus flavors and loads of walnuts. I made it, and yes, fell in love with it! Even more so, my Canadian husband (usually not so fond of citrusy flavors) absolutely loved it and already wants me to make it again (win-win-win!).
So, as I was saying, this recipe hails from the mountains of French Jura, in North-Eastern France, right along the Swiss Border. This gorgeous region is well known for its lush evergreen forests, producing the most delicious honey. I have the most heart-warming childhood memories of spending family ski vacations in these beautiful snowy mountains. On the last vacation day before hitting the road, we always used to fill our suitcases with big jars of honey to bring back home… (let me tell you, when you’re a kid, the sight of these big jars of deliciousness almost seems unreal!).
And naturally, honey features in many of the Jura region’s recipes (and this one is now my favorite!) I love this cake because it is both bright and comforting, and brings me back to my childhood. The tangy citrus flavors blend perfectly with the mellow sweetness of the fir honey, followed-up with a satisfying crunch from the walnuts. Fir honey has a bold, deep malty taste, so only one tablespoon of it is enough to be fragrant throughout the cake. But you can switch for any kind of amber or dark honey you might prefer (forest honey, or even buckwheat honey will work very well here).
The original recipe for this cake is made with oranges, but because I had sweet, plump tangerines on hand I chose to use them – and the cake turned out delicious! (With winter coming our way, why not try with seasonal clementines next time?)
To me, this cake perfectly embodies the essence of French home-cooking. It is humble, heart-warming and reminiscent of the region it originates from.
A far cry from the clichés of fancy Parisian restaurants, wouldn’t you agree?
If you’re curious to discover more regional French recipes, beyond the clichés, I invite you to look at these recipes:
Calvados and Apple Flan from Normandy
Sugar Pie from Hauts-de-France
Garlic Sage Cure-all Soup from Provence
Buckwheat Pancakes from Auvergne
Bonjour, I’m Audrey! I was born in beautiful Brittany, France and now live in Niagara, Ontario. Today, I am a marketing professional in the Food & Drink industry, but I have a background in French Cultural Anthropology and wrote a thesis on the perception of French Culture outside of today’s France. Surely, France is the sound, taste, and smell of my childhood, and very much still fills my life today. I’ve always had food on my mind, and as I settled into Canada and started to miss my sense of joie de vivre and pleasure around food, I created a French food blog as a natural response to return to my roots and explore the love and authenticity of my French heritage. In Canada, I also found that many people have a misconception of French food and that simple recipes, regional specialties, and cultural fusions are far too often unknown. As a self-taught home-cook & photographer, I hope that “Pardon your French” can show you that French food, beyond the clichés, can be both humble and filled with stories and delicious twists!
Make sure to follow Audrey through her blog and on social media:
All photos above this point: © Audrey Le Goff.
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Author: Marie Asselin
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