I was listening to a lovely radio interview with my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater the other day where he said his favourite cake was Coffee & Walnut. On telling my daughter she said she loved this cake too – I don’t where she’s had it as I have never made it not being a coffee fan! Anyway I think the subliminal message stuck in my head when I wanted to come up with a cake to celebrate Chocolate Week. I decided to come up with a show stopper cake with walnuts, chocolate and coffee and based it on a smaller hazelnut torte my mother used to make. This Walnut Mocha Torte is a feast of flavours and textures with a crispy, meringue like outer shell to the cake layers which on their flip side are nutty and chewy. The coffee acts to bring out the full intensity of the cocoa and is not a predominant flavour although you could add more if you wanted to! As walnuts are so good for you I think some guilt can be traded off when eating this decadent torte! Did you know that compared to many other nuts like almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, walnuts (especially in their raw form) contain the highest total level of antioxidants?
It was so funny the day I made this torte my daughter talked about it to her dad all the way home from school as she knew I was baking and had helped me shopping for the ingredients. Once home she stormed into the kitchen and demanded to know if anyone had eaten any torte yet. I told her I’d just cut a slice which was waiting in the fridge for her. You’ve never seen a coat and bag shed so quickly and a cake fork and plate retrieved from the fridge! Her eyes were like saucers when I asked her how it was – all she could say was that she was speechless while she continued to eat.
Next my son came through the door and he asked what I’d been baking. I told him and he said he wasn’t keen on cream so I cut him a slim slither. Five minutes later he’d helped himself to another slice! On finishing her torte my daughter gave it a million out of 10 and my son said it was the best thing I’d ever made. Needless to say my husband loved it and as my parents had popped round I gave them a portion to take away and they loved it too. In fact my husband is insisting I make this at Christmas now, so that’s one less dish to decide on!
- 3 Large eggs
- 225g Castor sugar
- 135g Ground walnuts
- 400 mls Whipping cream
- Mocha Frosting:
- 4 tbsp Milk
- 50g Unsalted butter
- 50g Cocoa powder
- 1tsp Instant coffee diluted in 1tsp hot water
- 200g Icing Sugar
- Walnut halves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Fold in the ground walnuts.
- Divide the mixture equally between the two tins (weighing is a good idea).
- Bake for 24 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool in the tins before putting on cooling rack and removing paper. The top will be like meringue and the base will be more nutty and chewy.
- Whip the cream until forms soft peaks (a hand whisk is best to avoid over whipping).
- Sandwich the 2 layers of torte together leaving enough cream for decoration.
- Put milk and butter in a saucepan and heat until boiling then tip in the cocoa and simmer for 30 seconds.
- Add the dissolved coffee and beat in the icing sugar gradually. If it goes grainy just add another tsp of hot water and beat well.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cake, spreading out with a palette knife.
- Pipe on the rest of the cream and decorate with walnut halves.
This recipe previously appeared on Great British Chefs.