At the heart of the Franco-Swiss border, the Jura region is home to a gorgeous mountain chain covered in lush evergreen forests and woods. Aside from being a nature-lover’s paradise, the region has a strong culinary profile, producing some of France’s most exceptional honeys. Honeys made from pine, fir, acacia, chestnut and wild flowers, by bees able to enjoy the purity of the Jura mountains.
Naturally, honey features in many regional specialties of Jura, such as the Wine and Walnut tart and, of course, this delicious Honey & Walnut cake – traditionally made with their local fir honey.
The combination of citrus and honey is always a winner, during any season. But the rich and comforting feel of this Tangerine Honey Walnut Cake makes it ideal for the cold days ahead…
Dark-amber in colour, fir honey has a woodsy aroma and a sweet malty taste, with some subtle balsamic notes. It is a strong honey, so only one tablespoon of it is enough to be fragrant throughout the cake.
If you do not have fir honey, you could switch for any kind of amber or dark honey, such as forest honey or even buckwheat.
This cake is quite dense, nourishing and very satisfying. The tangy citrus notes blend perfectly with the sweetness of the honey, all finished with a satisfying crunch from the walnuts.
This recipe is translated and adapted from the book “Les carnets de Julie: Julie cuisine la France… chez vous!” by Julie Andrieu.
- The original recipe is made with oranges, but because I had plump tangerines on hand, I decided to use them, and it turned out delicious!
- You can also switch half of the tangerine (or orange) juice with lemon juice, to add extra tang.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo using #pardonyourfrench on Instagram.
2 large tangerines (or 1 large orange)
1/3 cup (50g) walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fir honey
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (190g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup 130g white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 400F. Grease your loaf pan and sprinkle a thin coating of sugar inside (this will help in creating a cake with a crunchy exterior).
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, over low heat. Once melted, set aside to cool down.
Rinse the tangerines under water and grate the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of zest. Squeeze the tangerines and keep 120ml of the juice in a glass.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the middle, and add in the three eggs, whisking well between each addition.
Mix-in the melted butter, zest, juice and honey until the batter is smooth and shiny. Finally, mix in the walnut bits.
Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake is golden (with dark-golden edges).
Let the cake cool down just a few minutes and remove from the pan while it is still hot. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
For serving, you can drizzle the cake with some sweetened orange juice (warm up some orange juice in a small sauce pan with a bit of sugar).