Boozy chocolate and walnut torte

Boozy chocolate and walnut torte

By
From
Polska
Serves
12-16
Prep
110 mins
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Anyone could order a torte from my grandma Ziuta, and everyone did. She often made more than one a week and asked for no payment, creating each one with care, decorating them with pastel coloured icing, marzipan flowers and most importantly, love. They were the most colourful, wondrous thing to behold in grey Communist Poland.

Ideally, loose tea leaves should be used, but if you don’t have them then a good-quality tea bag is fine – and be generous with it!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs
8 eggs, separated
250g icing sugar
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 vanilla pod
or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate icing

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
100g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
50g good-quality cocoa powder, blended to a paste with 5 tablespoons boiled water
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds
or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the walnut cream

Quantity Ingredient
100ml whipping cream
200g icing sugar
200g walnuts, ground

For the syrup

Quantity Ingredient
75ml very strong tea, with 2 tablespoons brown sugar
75ml dark rum

To decorate

Quantity Ingredient
100g walnuts, some crushed and some left whole
100g flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a loose-bottomed 23 x 23 cm round cake tin. Sprinkle the inside of the tin with the breadcrumbs.
  2. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the icing sugar and whisk until they have combined and become considerably thicker. Add the egg yolks and whisk again. Gently fold in the flour (mixed with the baking powder), add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract or inside of a vanilla pod, mixing gently, then pour into your prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If it is not baked through, return the cake to the oven, turn the oven off and leave inside for 7–8 minutes. Leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the icing by blending the egg yolks and sugar together, then adding the butter, a little at a time, and finally the chocolate paste and vanilla. Place this thick mass in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill.
  4. To make the walnut cream filling, whip the cream to soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar and keep whisking until you have stiff peaks. Fold in the finely ground walnuts. Using a bread knife, carefully slice the cake horizontally into three equal layers (don’t attempt this while the cake is still warm as it will be too crumbly). Add the rum to the cooled, sweet tea and then use this syrup to thoroughly soak the first sponge layer. Spread about half of the walnut cream filling over the top and then repeat with the next layer of sponge, soaking with syrup and spreading with the remaining walnut cream.
  5. Smear the chocolate icing over the top of the final layer and down the sides to cover the entire cake, as thick as you like. Decorate the sides of the cake with walnuts and almonds.
Tags:
polish
eastern european
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