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Spatula Kalambakas (Walnut Cake with Diplomat Cream)

Spatula Kalambakas (Walnut Cake with Diplomat Cream)

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Spatula Kalambakas is a sponge cake with nuts, which is then moistened with a light syrup and topped with pastry cream, walnuts and cinnamon.

Karydopita spatula with cream image

It can be made with walnuts or pecans (resembling Karydopita) or almonds, hazelnuts etc.

This dessert comes from Kalambaka, a town in Thessaly, not far from Meteora, which is a very popular tourist destination, due to the rock formation and the monasteries on top of the rocks.

If you ever visit this city be sure to taste this wonderful dessert!

Walnut cake with Diplomat cream image

Blog anniversary

Before going to the recipe, I would like to mention that this year marks 13th anniversary of my blog, since I started blogging in August, 2007.

I must say that I don’t blog that often any more because I don’t have much free time and the little time I do have, I use it to update older content with more information and new photos.

Can I keep blogging for any more years? I really don’t know, but I do hope that I can hang on a few more years. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my readers who visit my blog, which encourages me to keep it alive!

Now, back to the recipe!

How I found out about Spatula

Not many know about this dessert, even in Greece.

I accidentally found out about this dessert one day when I was watching the Greek “Wheel of Fortune”.

The question was “A popular dessert from Thessaly” or something similar. The contestants could not find the answer and when finally they managed to find all the letters, I was curious to find out what this dessert was!

I googled it and to my surprise there were just a handful of recipes in Greek and none in English. I watched this video to get an idea of what this dessert was about.

Everything was easy as it was just a sponge cake with walnuts, which is wet with a simple sugar syrup, flavoured with cinnamon and cloves and topped with a pastry cream.

So, I was decided to make it using my own recipes.

Instead of adding a simple pastry cream on top, I combined it with whipped cream, and made Diplomat Cream, which I have made many times and love it. Some of my recipes which come in mind now is Ekmek Kataifi and Kok.

The base of the dessert is fluffy and the Diplomat Cream on top is light and refreshing.

How to make Spatula

Syrup

Put the sugar, water and spices in a small pot.  Mix to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and mix.   Set aside to cool and discard the cinnamon and cloves.

Sponge with Walnuts

Sift the flour and corn flour (or use cake flour) and mix with all the dry ingredients. See how to make Cake Flour.

Separate the yolks from the whites.

Whisk eggs whites with lemon juice until eggs are stiff.

In a separate bowl beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until light and creamy.

Add the flour with all the dry ingredients and mix.

Gently fold in the meringue using a spatula.  

(Alternatively, if you have a powerful mixer, beat the eggs (whole) with the sugar on high speed until white and fluffy.  Lower speed to minimum and add the dry ingredients).

Preheat the oven to 180o C / 350o F (160o C / 320o F), if a convection oven. 

Butter and flour a 32 x 23 cm (12.5 x 9 inches) baking pan and add the mixture.

Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out neatly clean.

Remove to a wire rack and add the syrup, a spoonful at a time until the cake is wet. Set aside until it absorbs all the syrup.

Pastry Cream

Heat the milk reserving 1/4 cup cold milk.

In another pot add the corn flour (starch), eggs, sugar, salt,vanilla, lemon juice, zest and the cold milk and stir well with an egg beater, until the mixture is combined.

Pour the hot milk to the mixture stirring constantly, on the heat, until cream sets.

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.   Cover with cling film or mix it every now and then so that no crust is formed on top.

Whipped Cream

Beat the heavy cream on low speed, add the sugar and vanilla, whisk and increase the speed as the cream starts to set. Refrigerate until the pastry cream cools.

Diplomat Cream:

When the pastry cream has cooled, start adding the whipped cream gradually and whisk to combine.

Spread cream over cooled cake and sprinkle the crushed walnuts and cinnamon on top.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Spatula Kalambakas served with walnut jam image
Spatula Kalambakas served with walnut jam

I served it with some walnut jam, which goes well with this dessert (the recipe for the walnut jam has not yet been posted) but you can definitely serve it without the jam.

Spatula Kalambakas image

Spatula Kalambakas (A Walnut Cake with Cream)

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Spatula Kalambakas is a sponge cake with nuts, which is then moistened with a light syrup and topped with pastry cream, walnuts and cinnamon.

Ingredients

Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 – 4 cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Walnut Sponge cake:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Pastry cream:

  • 1 litre (4 ¾ cups) milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 90 grams corn flour (starch)
  • 1/8 (or less) tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Whipped cream:

  • 200 grams heavy cream
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • A couple of drops of vanilla essence

To decorate:

  • ¼ cup walnuts combined with 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Prepare the syrup: 

  1. Put all the ingredients in a small pot.  Mix to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and mix.   Set aside to cool and discard the cinnamon and cloves.

Prepare the Sponge Cake:  

  1. Sift the flour and corn flour (or use cake flour) and mix with all the dry ingredients.
  2. Separate the yolks from the egg whites.
  3. Whisk egg whites with lemon juice until eggs are stiff.
  4. In a separate bowl beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until light and creamy.
  5. Add the flour and mix.
  6. Gently fold in the meringue using a spatula.  
  7. (Alternatively, if you have a powerful mixer, beat the eggs (whole) with the sugar on high speed until white and fluffy.  Lower speed to minimum and add the dry ingredients).
  8. Preheat the oven to 180o C / 350o F (160o C / 320o F), if a convection oven. 
  9. Butter and flour a 32 x 23 cm (12.5 x 9 inches) baking pan and add the mixture.
  10. Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of
    the cake comes out neatly clean.
  11. Remove to a wire rack and add the syrup, a spoonful at a time until the cake is wet. Set aside until it absorbs all the syrup.

Prepare Pastry Cream: 

  1. Heat the milk reserving 1/4 cup cold milk.
  2. In another pot add the corn flour (starch), eggs, sugar, vanilla, zest and the cold milk and stir well with an egg beater, until the mixture is combined.
  3. Pour the hot milk to the mixture stirring constantly, on the heat, until the cream sets.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.   Cover with cling film or
    mix it every now and then so that no crust is formed on top.

Prepare the Whipped Cream:

  1. Beat the heavy cream on low speed, add the sugar and vanilla, whisk and increase the speed as the cream starts to set.
  2. Refrigerate until the pastry cream cools.

Diplomat Cream:

  1. When the pastry cream has cooled, start adding the whipped cream gradually and whisk to combine.
  2. Spread cream over cooled cake and sprinkle the crushed walnuts and cinnamon on top.
  3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 481Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 181mgSodium 201mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 2gSugar 43gProtein 12g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Walnut Recipes

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Collage Spatula Kalambakas image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy

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