[Michel Bras Recipe] WALNUT CAKE AND PEARS IN HONEY & VANILLA SYRUP – Enjoy the harvest season with seasonal and flavorful nuts and fruits

As a child, I was fascinated by the magical colors I would find in the walnut liqueur that our grandmother made in the fall. They were an almost perfect black. I love peeling fresh walnuts, take out the fruit without damaging it, remove the skin, and just enjoy the fresh nut with bread.

The pear is another gift from fall. Centuries ago, the Romans ate it raw, cooked, and even made pear wine and vinegar with it.

Enjoy the combination of autumn nuts and fruits with these simple recipes which bring out the best out of both.

You will enjoy the rich and wonderful flavor hidden under their simplicity…



So easy and quick, yet so tasty…A perfect cake for morning coffee or afternoon snack too.


4 1/4 (120 g) 2 to 3 whole eggs

9 tbsp (125 g) softened butter

1 tbsp (30 g) grated walnuts

1 tbsp (30 g) crushed walnuts

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

1 cup (100 g) flour

1 tsp (3 g) baking soda

2 tsp (10 g) coffee extract




Electric mixer, spatula, 9 in. (22 cm) aluminum pan, parchment paper, baking sheet


Put the eggs with their shell in lukewarm water for 5 minutes.

Grate half of the walnuts with a grater, crush the other half with a knife.




Whip the softened butter, walnuts and sugar for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat for 3 more minutes. Add the coffee extract. Gently fold in sifted flour and baking soda. Butter the pan and dust it with sugar. Fill it up to three-quarters with the batter.




Put the mold on the baking sheet, cover it with parchment paper, and place in a preheated 350℉ (180℃) oven for 15 minutes. Remove the paper, and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes at 325℉ (160 ℃). Insert a skewer to check the cake is done. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool completely.


An easy yet delicious cake, well kept in the freezer too, you could double the portions and bake 2 pieces at once.


A mellow and sweet autumn harmony



1,5 lb pears

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 lemon




Start by preparing the syrup. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds. Place sugar, water, honey and vanilla seeds and pod in a small saucepan with lemon juice and stir. Bring to medium heat and wait until sugar is dissolved in boiling water.


Peal the pears, remove the core but leave the peduncle. Cut them into 4 or 8 wedges depending on their size. While cutting, rub each pieces with lemon to prevent oxidation. Remove the vanilla bean from the pan and put the pears in the syrup. Place a smaller lid on top a they should be immersed in the liquid. Reduce to low heat to keep the flavors, and simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens. Cook over a simmer to preserve the fruits shape and flavors. Remove from heat before the fruits are done as they will continue to cook in the warm syrup. Check the right texture with a skewer.

Let them cool, and store them in the fridge.




Serve the pears with some syrup on a plate, with slices of walnut cake.

You could also decorate with a few drops of coffee extract or sift some icing sugar to enhance the autumn colors…


Bon appétit!