Chocolate, walnut and chocolate layer cake

    14 hours 30 min

    This festive cake requires a little time, but the result is wonderful. Layers of walnut and coconut cake filled with a delicate chocolate cream that melts in your mouth! The adult version is to add cognac or whiskey.

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    Serves: 10 

    • bread crumbs for the tin
    • For the walnut base
    • 5 eggs, separated
    • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon potato starch
    • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 120g ground walnuts
    • For the coconut base
    • 5 eggs, separated
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 150g desiccated coconut
    • For drizzling
    • 1 tablespoon whiskey or cognac
    • For the chocolate icing
    • 250g unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 eggs
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 50g sifted unsweetened cocoa
    • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 50ml whiskey or cognac
    • 1 handful walnuts
    • For the decoration
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Extra time:12hr chilling  ›  Ready in:14hr30min 

      Walnut base:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a springform cake tin and sprinkle with bread crumbs
    2. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in potato flour, cocoa and baking powder. Stir in ground walnuts until well combined.
    3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    4. Coconut base:

    5. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a springform cake tin.
    6. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
    7. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in desiccated coconut and mix well. Gently stir in beaten egg whites. Pour into prepared cake tin.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
    9. Chocolate icing:

    10. In a bowl, cream the butter until fluffy.
    11. In a double boiler, beat the eggs and gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly until light and fluffy.
    12. Gradually, adding one spoon at a time, stir in egg mixture into butter, stirring constantly until smooth. If you pour too much at a time, it may curdle!
    13. Gradually, stir in cocoa and orange juice. Add whiskey if desired. Add it slowly, stirring constantly so the icing doesn't curdle. Set aside.
    14. Cut the walnut base in half horizontally. Leave coconut cake as it is.
    15. In a cup, combine few tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon whiskey. Drizzle the mixture over each cake layer to moisten it.
    16. Place a walnut base on a cake plate. Spread with icing and place coconut layer on top. Spread with icing and and cover with the second walnut base. Use the remaining icing to spread all over the whole cake on top and the sides. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and decorate with walnuts.
    17. Refrigerate overnight.


    It's best to make the cakes the day before, then cut them and layer with icing.

    Potato starch vs flour

    Note that potato starch is not the same as potato flour, though sometimes potato starch is erroneously labelled as potato flour. Make sure what you buy is a refined, white powder, as true potato flour is made from the entire potato, including the skin, and is less refined.

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