November is my birthday month, and since November is light on Jewish holidays this year, I thought we could celebrate my birthday instead. And what better way to celebrate a birthday than with cake!
Bear with me -- there is a Jewish connection here. Last June, my mother and I went to visit my mom's second cousin Hedy in Canada, whom I was getting to meet for the first time. Hedy is originally from Hungary, which is where my grandmother was born, and is an Auschwitz survivor. In fact, just a month or so before our visit, Hedy had been in Germany, testifying against this man. (And here is Hedy, speaking about her experience to the BBC.)
But that is all a story for another time. During our visit to Toronto, Hedy was a lovely hostess, and welcomed us with a Hungarian-style home-cooked meal, complete with dessert. The cake she made is her son Ron's favorite, and it instantly became one of mine, too -- a light, not-too-sweet cake frosted with mocha-flavored whipped cream. Hedy has graciously shared the recipe with me, and now I get to share it with you.
Enjoy! -- Lisa Meng
Mocha Whipped Cream Cake
1/2 cup ground walnuts and 1/2 cup walnuts chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 teaspoon dry unseasoned bread crumbs
2-3 teaspoon flour
one pint of heavy cream
2-3 teaspoon instant coffee
2-3 teaspoon cocoa
2-3 teaspoon of sugar (or more, to taste)
To prepare the cream:
Dissolve instant coffee, cocoa, and sugar in a minimal quantity of boiling water. Put aside to cool.
I start with that, sometimes do it the day before.
Whip up the cream to a firm consistency.
Add the cold mocha mixture to the whipped cream slowly, folding it in with a spatula.
To prepare the cake:
Separate the yolks, making sure none gets into the white.
Whip up the white of the egg starting to add the sugar slowly when 3/4 ready, whipping it on high speed until very firm.
Fold in the yolks slowly, gently.
Then the dry ingredients - walnuts, bread crumbs and flour.
Pour into a floured baking dish.
Put in a preheated 325°F oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a thin knife blade comes out clean. Do not over-bake it.
Let it cool, than cut it in half and put 1/3 of cream on it.
Place the other half of the cake on top, and pour the rest of the cream on and around it.
Sometimes I pour a shot glass of sherry around the edges.
I usually put it in the freezer uncovered, for an hour or so to firm it, then in the fridge, if it is for the same day. If not, place plastic wrap on it and leave it in the freezer until a couple of hours before serving.