This wonderful torte, submitted by Diana Kay of Burlington, Ontario, was the one and only thing that veteran contest judge Danny would taste. And, boy, did he ever taste it. It's a rich, European-style torte which, according to Hayley, "looks like a marching band."
2 cups ground walnuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant coffee
6 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 tsp vanilla
First, prepare the cake pans. Grease the bottoms of two 8 in. (20 cm) cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper and grease the paper.
In a bowl, mix together the ground walnuts, flour and instant coffee. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add ½ cup (125 mL) of the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff but not dry. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks for one minute, then add the remaining ½ cup (125 mL) of sugar, continuing to beat for another 4 minutes, until thick and light coloured. Beat in the lemon rind and vanilla, then gently stir in the nut mixture.
Stir about ¼ of the beaten egg white into the yolk-nut mixture, just to lighten the batter, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Spoon evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out dry. Cool in pans for 20 minutes, then remove from pans, peel off the paper and let cool completely (right side up) on cake racks. Fill and frost with Mocha Cream Frosting (below). If you wish to make this into a 4-layer torte, slice each layer in half before frosting.
Mocha Cream Frosting: In the top of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks with ¾ cup (175 mL) of the icing sugar. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat, then let cool completely. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter, adding the remaining 1-¾ cups (450 mL) of the icing sugar gradually. Beat until smooth and creamy. Blend in the cooled egg yolk mixture, coffee and vanilla a little bit at a time, and beat until completely smooth.