Friday, 3 March 2017

Mocha Walnut Torte

One of the housekeepers at work makes the most amazing European pastries. She often brings in a tray of goodies that we devour in short order. Last week she brought in walnut cake that was so good that I asked for her recipe. She proceeded to tell me she adds a rounded spoonful of this and that for each egg and little more of this and a little less of that! Her daughter works with the therapy team and she wrote out a recipe that I could follow. It turned out very well and even though it seems long, it is not hard to make. The cake is not very sweet and it can be served in thin slices. It was perfect for birthday we celebrated today.

Sponge Cake

7 eggs, separated                  2 tbsp cocoa (optional- decrease flour by 1 tbsp)
7 tbsp sugar                          1 tsp baking powder
7 tbsp flour                            1 cup crushed walnuts
                                              1 tsp instant coffee or espresso granules (optional)

Line 2 - 8 or 9 inch square or round pans with greased parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Beat egg whites on high in mixer with a pinch of salt. When the eggs start to get foamy, add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

2. Add egg yolks and beat with mixer until they are incorporated.

3. Slowly fold in dry ingredients with a spatula- flour, (cocoa), baking powder, walnuts

Divide batter between two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until set and golden brown.
Remove cake from pans and allow to cool. Each cake is cut in half horizontally so you have 4 layers.

Butter Cream Filling

6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup softened butter

1. Put eggs in double boiler with sugar. Mix together and heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.(approx 110F)
2. Add eggs to mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
3. Add softened butter a tablespoon at a time to the egg white mixture and continue beating.
4. Add flavouring as desired. I added 2 tbsp melted 50% cocoa chocolate chips and 2 tsp instant coffee. You can use Nutella as well and walnuts can be added to the filling if desired.

Spread butter cream filling between layers and on top of cake. Garnish with walnuts, chocolate covered coffee beans or anything else that tickles your fancy. I used candied walnuts.

 Candied Walnuts

Place 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/8 cup white sugar in frying pan. Heat over medium heat and stir ingredients together until the nuts are lightly toasted and the sugar is melted. Cool and use as a garnish on top of the cake

The cake slices best if it is refrigerated.

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