Combine the water, 2 1/2 cups of the sugar, orange or lemon peel and cloves in
a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the peel and cloves and cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until light and lemon
colored, and gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix the cognac, vanilla extract and baking soda and slowly
add to the yolks and sugar.
Combine zwieback, walnuts and cinnamon, and gradually add to the batter, mixing
on low speed.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly fold into the cake
batter, then pour into a greased 15 1/2 x 11 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350
degree F oven for 30 minutes, or until a deep chestnut color.
Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack. Spoon the cooled syrup over the
cake and allow it to cool in the pan.
Cut into traditional diamond shapes, according to desired size.
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