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Walnut And Orange Cake With Grand Marnier Melon Salad

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Walnut And Orange Cake With Grand Marnier Melon Salad

This cake is miles away from our traditional fruit Christmas cake. However with its orange syrup and nutty texture, it is a sensational dessert, espeically when served with melon. There are no eggs or dairy products here. Use fresh walnuts to ensure good flavour.


  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon each ground cardamom and salt
  • 2¼ cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or ground almonds
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons Grand Marnier or brandy
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 large or 2 small rock melons


  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Grand Marnier or use Brandy


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt and sugar into a bowl.
  2. Stir in the walnuts, breadcrumbs or almond and make a well in the center.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in the grand Marnier and then stir in the orange juice, oil and orange rind. Stir gently into the dry ingredients. Do not beat just fold gently.
  4. Turn into a well-greased and paper-lined 23cm cake tin. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and is just firm to the touch. If it begins to brown too mush, cover the top with baking paper is just cooked.
  5. Once cooked remove from the oven. Stand the cake in the tin in a shallow dish and pour over half the syrup. Stand until cool before turning out. Store in an airtight container.
  6. Cut the melons in half and scoop out the seeds. Shape into melon balls or peel and dice and toss with the remaining syrup. Keep refrigerated for up to one day before using. Serve the cake with the melon and either whipped cream or yoghurt.


  1. Strain the freshly squeezed orange juice and place in a saucepan with the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the alcohol.

Cooks Tips

- Make this cake 2-3 days in advance to allow the flavours to develop. Keep in an airtight container. - You will need 325 grams or 2½ cups walnuts to get 2¼ cups of finely chopped. - Preferably use a light-flavoured oil, such as light or pure olive oil or canola oil. - If you would prefer to make the cake with butter, use ¾ cup melted and cooled. - Cake was tested with fresh breadcrumbs. Dry breadcrumbs are not recommended here. - In place of melon, peel and segment 6 oranges.

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