Prep 45 mins
Cook 25 mins
A chocolate-walnut cake with bittersweet mocha icing that has been one of my favorites for many years. The cake will be fragile when it comes out of the oven, so it is preferable to freeze or refrigerate it for a day or so to firm it up. This cake freezes very well.
For the cake
- 2 cups ground walnuts
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated
- 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar (can be omitted if making this for Passover)
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the icing
- 4 bittersweet chocolate squares
- 1⁄4 cup strong brewed coffee
- 3 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 15 x 10 pan with waxed paper and butter the paper.
- Mix grated chocolate into ground nuts; set aside.
- Beat 8 egg whites with cream of tartar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until they form soft peaks. Add 1/2 cup sugar a little at a time, beating until white just hold stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Cream together 5 of the egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, salt and vanilla. Add nut mixture. Fold in one third of whites to lighten batter. Then fold batter into remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
- Pour batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake about 20=25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then run a thin sharp knife between cake and side of pan. Remove side of pan and cool cake completely. Invert cake onto rack and run knife between cake and bottom of pan to remove bottom, then flip onto a plate. When fully cool, cover and refrigerate so that the cake can firm up for a day or so.
- Make the Bittersweet Mocha Icing, as follows.
- Melt chocolate and coffee in a double boiler over very low heat; simmer over very low heat, stirring constantly until very thick (about 10-15 minutes). Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
- Cream 3 yolks, sugar and vanilla; pour into cooled chocolate mixture. Add butter and beat until thick. Spread over top of cooled cake.