Searching for something interesting to bake this weekend I ventured into the older section of my cookbook collection and came across this recipe in Richard Sax book “Classic Home Dessert”. I will admit that years ago I yearned for this book and when I finally got my hands on it I spent alot of time reading it and not much time baking anything out of it. Looking through it again I found several recipes that I had marked as wanting to make and this one intrigued me.
It is a European style torte and has no flour and is entirely leavened with eggs. I generally don’t care for flourless cakes as they are usually either very dense or very damp, neither of which I find very appealing but I thought I would give it a try. It uses finely ground walnuts and breadcrumbs in place of the flour. It is baked in three layers and in the European tradition the layers are very thin. This cake has a very moist texture simpler to a Swiss roll sponge.
It is a very easy cake to put together, Grind 7 oz walnuts with 2 tablespoons sugar until powdery. Separate 8 eggs. Beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until doubled in volume, fluffy and they form the ribbon. Fold in 2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, ground walnuts, 1 1/2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee and 1 1/2 tablespoons rum.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until just stiff and gently fold into the nut batter. Divide among three 9 inch pans and bake for 25 minutes
For the filling and frosting, stir 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee of espresso powder into 1/4 cup cream and stir to dissolve. Add this to 1 1/4 cups heavy cream along with 3/4 cup sifted confections sugar and whip until firm but soft peaks form.
Assemble the cake by spreading 2/3 cup of the coffee cream between each of the layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cream and decorate as desired. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.