This cake looks like something you’d see in a cafe in Vienna ….. but shhh! It’s ridiculously easy to make at home. The whipped cream frosting and walnuts cover a multitude of sins and the chocolate shavings are easily created using a vegetable peeler. I’ve even made the cake portion ahead of time, frozen it and frosted it the day I needed to serve it. I got the recipe from a woman named Connie who lived near me years ago and I’m not sure where she got it. I only know it’s one of those cakes that almost makes you wish you were eating alone. Who needs (or wants) conversation to intrude when you’ve got those luscious flavors and textures front and center.
Mocha Nut Torte
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 T. instant coffee granules
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup ground walnuts
Beat whites until firm. Add sugar and beat until stiff. Beat yolks in a separate bowl until thick and light (about 5 minutes). Fold into whites. Blend coffee, flour and nuts. Fold into egg mixture until evenly colored. Grease and flour a 9 or 10 inch cake pan; pour in batter and bang pan to remove bubbles. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cake rises when baking but deflates when it cools – don’t panic.
1 pint heavy cream
1 T. instant coffee dissolved in 1 T. rum, brandy or other liqueur
2 T. confectioner’s sugar
Beat cream until thick. Add coffee and liqueur mix and confectioner’s sugar.
Slice cake into three layers. Use a serrated knife to do this. This can be a little tricky and the layers will be thin. Don’t worry if you poke a hole in the center or anywhere else. It gets covered with the frosting.
Frost between layers, sides and top. Decorate sides with crushed walnuts and top with chocolate shavings (I use a dark chocolate bar.)
Then all by yourself, find a quiet corner, plunge fork into cake and indulge.