This lovely dessert would have been the featured pastry at "Jause" --a lovely old German/Austrian custom of pausing in the afternoon for cake and coffee and conversation. Prep time does not include time for cooling the torte layers.
For torte layers
- 8 large eggs, separated
- 3⁄4 cup sugar, plus
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups walnuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh fine breadcrumbs
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons rum
for coffee whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
For the cake pans
- 12 walnut halves, toasted
- Butter 3 Nine inch round cake pan and line the bottom of each one with a round of buttered parchment paper.
- Dust the pans with flour and shake out any excess.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar until the mixture is doubled in volume and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted (about 5 minutes).
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the walnuts with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until ground fine.
- Add the walnuts, the bread crumbs, the coffee and the rum to the yolks and fold gently.
- In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg white just to stiff peaks.
- Gently and gradually fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
- Divide the batter among the three cake pans, spreading it evenly and giving each cake pan a good thump against the counter to make sure there are no air bubbles.
- Bake the layers 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sides pull away from the pans and the tops spring back when pressed gently.
- Cool in pans on racks for ten minutes.
- Run a sharp knife round the sides of the layers and carefully invert the layers onto the racks.
- Remove and discard parchment paper and allow layers to cool completely.
- Make the Coffee Whipped Cream:.
- In a large, chilled bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of the cold heavy cream and the instant coffee until coffee is dissolved.
- Add remaining cream and confectioner's sugar and beat until cream forms stiff peaks.
- This will provide enough whipped cream to fill the two layers and to garnish the top.
- You can place the cream for the top in a pastry bag and decorate the top with rosettes.
- Garnish with the toasted walnut halves.