Walnut and Chocolate Cake from Hungary. Recipe contributor: Eva Naftali │Photograph: Daniel Lailah │Styling: Amit Farber
Walnut and Chocolate Cake from Hungary. Recipe contributor: Eva Naftali │Photograph: Daniel Lailah │Styling: Amit Farber
Recipe

Walnut and Chocolate Cake from Hungary

Passover desserts have a reputation for being dense and lacking in flavor, but this airy cake is filled with flavors of nuts, coffee, brandy and chocolate

Ingredients for Flourless Chocolate Cake

For the dough:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 9 egg whites (the yolk from the ninth egg will be added to the frosting)
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup/50 grams) Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil (or corn oil)
  • ⅓ cups (130 grams) mixed walnuts and pecans not roasted and finely ground
  • 4 tablespoons matzo meal
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshy squeezed orange juice (optional)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 teaspoons (20 grams) vanilla sugar

For the frosting:

    • 5 ounces (150 grams) 60% dark chocolate chopped
    • ¼ cup (60ml) espresso coffee powder or strong instant coffee + 4 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 7 ounces (200 grams) butter cut into small cubes
    • 2 tablespoons cognac (or brandy)

    For spiking:

    • 2-3 tablespoons cognac (or brandy)

    For garnishing:

    • ½ cup (50 grams) mixed walnuts and pecans finely ground
    • 12 halved pecans

    Instructions

    • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Place a baking pan or pot filled with water on the bottom of the oven and grease the springform pan.

    Preparing the tort:

    • 2. Beat the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar for 8 to 10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and pale. Gradually add the oil and continue beating until it is incorporated.

    • 3. Add the ground nuts, one tablespoon at a time, and incorporate them in the egg mixture. Add the matzo meal in the same manner. Add the lemon zest and turn off the mixer. If the batter is too thick (hard to mix with a wooden spoon), add some orange juice. If it is too thin (it drips off a raised mixing spoon), add another tablespoon of ground nuts.

    • 4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, vanilla sugar and 2 tablespoons sugar until a stiff foam forms (it doesn't drip when the bowl is turned over). Using a spatula, fold one quarter of the foam into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated. Repeat the process with the remaining foam, folding one quarter of it at a time. Transfer the mixture to the springform pan.

    • 5. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn the oven off and allow the cake to cool down in the oven (if removed before it cools, the cake will fall).

    Preparing the frosting:

    • 6. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Add the coffee, stirring continuously, and after it comes together with the chocolate, add the egg yolk and stir until it is incorporated in the chocolate. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until it is incorporated in the mixture. Cool to room temperature.

    • 7. Refrigerate the frosting for 10 minutes until it hardens a bit (its texture should be similar to that of a chocolate spread). Add the cognac and stir.

    • 8. Cut the cake in half across the middle. Place the upper half on your work surface, with the inside of the cake facing up. Drizzle some cognac over both halves of the cake. Spread half of the frosting over the lower half of the cake and then place the upper half on top of it. Spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake and smooth it out. Sprinkle the ground nuts on the top and sides of the cake and decorate with the halved pecans

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