Monday, May 10, 2010

Walnut Mocha Torte

My brother’s birthday was last week. He’s just turned a quarter century! It was also my baby cousin’s birthday. He just turned one.

I volunteered to make 2 cakes for them. One of the cakes I made was this walnut mocha torte. One of the requests was a chocolate cake, but I was at a lost of what to make. A few things crossed my mind. The original request was for a black forest cake, but most of the recipes I came across used canned cherry pie filling and/or Kirschwasser. I didn’t want to buy the alcohol  just of one use, so I did some more brainstorming. I though of German Chocolate cake, but my sister told me she wasn’t too fond of it. I would have had a hell of a time finding German chocolate as well.

I decided to look through the cookbooks I had at home for ideas. For some reason, I always forget that I have a supply of cookbooks at home to reference too. I’ve been relying on food blogs and online recipes a lot lately. I guess I like to read reviews on the recipes before I try them blind.


I saw this walnut mocha torte in my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I was surprised that it only called for a few ingredients and was so simple. Since I was making 2 cakes, one of which was an ice cream cake that had to be assembled, I thought this easy peasy torte was a great idea. I was surprised that it didn’t call for any oil and a minimal amount of flour. I was concerned of how it would taste in the end. I’m glad I made it though, because it ended up tasting really good.

Since I used 9 inch pans instead of the 8 inch the recipe calls for, my cake was a little bit thinner than pictured in the cookbook. The batter looked really thin before it was baked, but the baking powder I added allowed for adequate rising, so don’t worry if it looks like there’s nothing in the pan when you pour it in.

walnut mocha torte

Walnut Mocha Torte
adapted from: Better Homes and Garden New cookbook, also found online here

printable recipe

for the cake:
2  cups walnuts or pecans, toasted
2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2  teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
chocolate curls or shavings (for decoration, optional)

for the frosting:
1 tsp instant coffee
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans (I used 9 inch pans). Set pans aside. In a medium bowl combine nuts, flour, and baking powder; set aside.

In a blender or food processor combine eggs and sugar; cover and blend or process until smooth. Add nut mixture. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched (centers may dip slightly). (Since I used 9 inch pans I baked for 15 mins.) Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.

to make the frosting:
In a chilled small mixing bowl dissolve instant coffee in 1 cup whipping cream; add sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

Spread Mocha Frosting on each layer; stack layers. Loosely cover and chill frosted cake for 2 to 24 hours. If desired, top with chocolate curls.