Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ukrainian Festive Walnut Torte

This year for Christmas Sue came up with the idea of doing a traditional Ukrainian Christmas (Click HERE to see our dinner post). I'm all about pierogies and cabbage rolls so I said, heck ya! Let's do it. 
I searched Pinterest for research on Ukrainian desserts and came across this torte from Suburban Grandma (Click HERE to see the original recipe). I was sooooo excited to try it. I love chocolate and coffee flavors. Unfortunately, I had an elbow injury on Christmas Eve and was not able to make it. Our sister, Orra, was my savior and volunteered to do it for me! It is a bit of fuss - there are 3 recipes you have to make - but, trust me, it is totally worth it! I cannot stress enough how much I LOVED this dessert. It is very rich and decadent so a little goes a long way. It also makes a large torte so is perfect for serving a larger crowd. This is normally a holiday recipe BUT I know I'm going to be making this more often than that. 

Ukrainian Festive Walnut Torte
(Ever so slightly adapted from Suburban Grandma

10 oz walnuts, finely ground (approx 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
12 large eggs, separated
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mocha Frosting
3/4 cup butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
6 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

Coffee Cream Filling
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/4 cup icing sugar

3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

Prepare torte - Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 - 10 inch pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine the ground walnuts, flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Beat to stiff peaks, then set aside. 
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add in the 1 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla and beat until mixture becomes thick and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Sprinkle the walnut mixture over the egg yolk mixture and stir briefly. Fold in half the egg whites until still streaky. Fold in the remaining egg whites until combined. 
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared 10 inch pans. Bake for about 30 minutes - or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and then invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. 
Prepare Mocha Frosting - In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, vanilla, melted chocolate, and 1 1/2 cups of the icing sugar until creamy. Alternately add in the coffee and remaining 4 1/2 cups icing sugar. Set aside.
Prepare Coffee Cream Filling - In a mixing bowl, beat together cream, coffee granules, and 1/4 cup icing sugar until stiff peaks form. 
Assemble the torte - Split each torte in half diagonally making 4 equal discs. Place one disc on a serving platter, cut side up. Spread about 3/4 cup mocha frosting on top. Then spread 1/3 of the coffee cream filling. Repeat with the second and third disc. Place the final disc on top (cut side down) and decorate with the last of the mocha frosting. Sprinkle with the 3 Tbsp of chopped walnuts. 

Chill until ready to serve. 

Guuuuuys! It's ridiculous. 

So. Many. Yummy. Layers. 

Someone ate a lot of this. Not saying who. It may or may not have been me. I'm not admitting to anything. Just saying.... it was really good. 
The torte layers are quite fragile - Orra said she was going to try and frost the sides of the cake but decided against it because she was afraid it would tear apart. I love the rustic look she created by leaving the sides bare. It makes it easier to see all those gorgeous layers. 
FYI - I mentioned it above but I will say it again. This is very rich and a little goes a long way. Unless you are me.... and can eat mocha frosting and coffee cream by the bucket full.... you will only need a small piece. 

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