Friday, November 23, 2007
Mocha Walnut Torte
This really is the festive season! Thanksgiving is just over in the US (but I'm having our annual dinner on Sunday, as usual), and christmas is around the corner. And I'm actually having a mini-christmas dinner today - a full month in advance! Why on earth..? Well, I happened to end up with a christmas ham. And some meatballs. And I decided that oh, why not. Let's eat some christmas food. So we will, tonight.
Anyway. It's also the season of many birthdays. Two important ones are coming up - my mom will be 70 on Christmas Eve (and she's got a Nintendo Wii on the top of her wishlist!) and my husband will have his birthday on Dec. 22. And my friend Tesse just celebrated her 30:th birthday, which brings me to the point: I made the cakes.
I'd had this recipe bookmarked for two years. Yes, I'm very patient. It was finally time to bake. The recipe is originally from Alice Medrich, but I've made some changes. First and foremost - no pecans. Pecans are ridiculously expensive, and I needed a LOT of nuts since I was making three cakes. So, I substituted walnuts, and that worked wonders. And the glaze - oh, the glaze! I made twice the recipe that I linked to and that made enough for the three cakes, so I've scaled it down for you. This is what you need for ONE cake. One delicious cake! Serve it with some whipped cream - it will go perfectly with the strong, dark flavors.
This is also an entry for Waiter, there's something in my topless tart!
Mocha Walnut Torte
180 g dark chocolate
160 g unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
170 g sugar, divided
250 ml (1 cup) ground walnuts
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
For the glaze
200 g milk chocolate
120 ml heavy cream (35-40% fat)
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1 tbsp (just barely) white syrup (corn syrup, in the original recipe)
30 g white chocolate, for marbling
Start with the cake. Melt butter and dark chocolate, in a waterbath or just in the microwave. Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar, until pale and fluffy. Add ground walnuts and flour and mix well. Add the chocolate and butter, and mix some more.
Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, and beat until you have a stiff, glossy meringue. Add a few spoonfuls of this to the cake batter, and mix well to lighten the batter. Then fold in the rest of the meringue, gently but carefully.
Pour into a buttered pan (preferrably a springform so you can remove the sides) and bake at 175°C for 35-40 minutes. Test it with a toothpick - it should be moist, but not sticky.
Let the cake cool, then remove it from the pan, wash the pan, and place the cake back, but upside down. Let it cool completely before glazing. (You can prepare until this stage - the day before is fine.)
Plan on glazing the cake a couple of hours before you want to serve it, to give the glaze time to set. You can't place it in the fridge after glazing, or the glaze will become dull.
Mix the cream, syrup and coffee powder in a small saucepan and heat until the coffee has dissolved. Chop the milk chocolate, and add it to the hot cream. Stir until smooth, then pour over the cake. (It really helps to have the cake in the pan for this, or the glaze will slide right off. It sets after a while.)
Melt the white chocolate, and pipe it artfully onto the cake. Or do what I did - make circles, then use a toothpick to draw lines from the middle out towards the edges.
Recipe in Swedish: