Photos and recipe are courtesy of Australia’s Linda Peek at Café Cat: (See: https://cafecat.com.au/2020/12/walnut-cake/).
“I grew up in England in the 1960s, when olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet as a cure for earache and only foreigners ate garlic. We had never heard of eggplants or zucchini, not even by their European names of aubergines and courgettes.”
Linda Peek has cooked for rock stars, dignitaries, and royalty in her role as a diplomat’s wife, and is now sharing her stories and volumes of recipes like this decadent walnut cake at her remarkable Canberra, Australia food blog. “Of Middle Eastern origin, this special cake is best served with hot coffee or tea, with a dollop of fresh cream, says Linda. “It will keep in a cake tin for 2-3 days. Being doused in a sugary syrup, you would think it would be very sweet, but it’s not. The syrup helps to keep it moist.”
There aren’t many food bloggers who can list “Diplomat’s Spouse” as a former career, but for Linda it was a natural progression from one experience to the other. She lived in Geneva, Switzerland until she met her husband Matthew, a member of the Australian Diplomatic Service. “We’ve been fortunate to live on five continents with postings to Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Pretoria, Santiago, Paris and Copenhagen, with home postings to Canberra in between.”
“Many of my recipes have been in my family for generations…others were passed on by friends and chefs around the world. Many recipes have been adapted over the years to make them lighter and healthier or to update their presentation. Diplomacy, I found, involves a lot of cooking and entertaining. With several events to host each week, from small dinners to large receptions, being an ambassador’s wife is a bit like running a restaurant. I’ve served my recipes to royalty, PMs and other VIPs, and there have been no complaints. This recipe includes walnuts, one of my favorite ingredients, and is moist and delicious baked any time of year,” she adds.
“Internationally, California walnuts supply two-thirds of the world’s walnut trade. Walnuts are primarily made up of protein and polyunsaturated fat, and contain a relatively high percentage of omega-3 fat, which has been linked to various health benefits. Walnuts are naturally a gluten-free food.” (For information, see: https://walnuts.org/).