Cream the sugar and butter in a mixer until it becomes nice and light. Add the egg yolks one at a time ensuring each one becomes fully incorporated into the batter.
Add your cognac or brandy and the juice and zest and ensure this all mixes well.
*In a separate bowl combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs the spices and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture to your batter ensuring it mixes well.*
Beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form and gently fold this meringue into the batter
Place the mixture into a pre oiled 24cm baking tin or tray and cook in a 180 deg C oven for 40-45 mins. Ensure the cake is cooked by using the old “skewer method”.
Whilst the cake is cooking prepare your sugar syrup by boiling all the ingredients in a non reactive pot. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for a further 10 mins until we have a nice thick syrup.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down slightly. Pour the sugar syrup over the cake until it becomes fully absorbed.
Cut the walnut cake into diamond shapes (anything will do really) and serve immediately with a nice strong espresso.