Prep 25 mins
Cook 50 mins
Tishpishti is a famous Jewish specialty of Turkey that is a rich, luscious walnut cake bathed in syrup. There are similar recipes that exist in Northern Spain, so the dessert may have originated there, possibly as a Passover cake. However, others believe Tishpishti was always served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Alternatives - use 1 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup almonds or 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup hazelnuts. For Passover, omit the baking soda and replace 1/2 cup walnuts with 1/2 cup matzo meal.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or 1 tablespoon rose water
- 10 eggs, separated
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (see Passover info above)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 orange, zest of, grated
- 1 lemon, zest of, grated
- 2 cups walnuts, toasted and then ground into a powder
- Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the syrup thickens slightly, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the flower water and mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10x14x3 inch baking pan. Set aside.
- Place the egg yolks in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale yellow. Gradually add the sugar and beat until thick and pale in color.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice and add to the egg yolks along with the vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Beat until combined, Stir in the grated zest and nuts.
- In another bowl, using the electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into the yolk-nut mixture and then fold in the remainder. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, place on a rack and let cool 10 minutes.
- Slice cake into diamond shaped slices. Poke each slice with a toothpick several times and then pour the previously made syrup evenly over the warmed cake.
- Cool completely.