Last week I made another birthday cake. October seems to be a very fruitful month, if you know what I mean (I’m an October-born myself). Anyway, not that I mind, I like to celebrate my friends and I like to do that with cake, so just give me an occasion and I will produce a cake! So for the birthday boy I chose walnut sponge cake filled with chocolate custard and covered in chocolate ganache. Yummy.
For the walnut sponge I was a little unsure about proportions as I didn’t want to add a random quantity of walnuts to my usual sponge cake recipe, so I made a little research. I stumbled upon this Hungarian walnut sponge cake recipe and decided to give it a try. I just used this recipe for proportions but followed my procedure to make the sponge cake. So here is my version of it, adapted from About Food.
Walnut sponge cake (yields one layer in a 24 cm pan):
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup ground walnuts
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Separate yolks from egg whites; beat the whites with a pinch of salt until fluffy. Always mixing, incorporate the sugar and mix well until the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes). Then, always keeping the mixer on medium speed, beat in one yolk at a time. Set the mixer aside, sift baking powder and flour (preferably in two batches) and fold them in with the help of a rubber spatula. Lastly, fold in the ground walnuts, being extra careful to add them one teaspoon at a time, in order not to knock too much air out of the batter by throwing the heavy ground nuts onto the airy mixture. Pour batter into a springform pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
This amount of batter, baked in a 24-cm pan, yields one nice and thick layer of sponge cake. For my cake, I baked three separate layers, so in the end I used 9 eggs and a whole cup of ground walnuts. The cake came out nicely tall!
I filled the cake with chocolate custard. You can find the recipe of my custard in this post. Instead of adding vanilla and food colouring like I did in that other cake, I incorporated 100 g of melted dark chocolate into my custard while I was cooking it. Outside, I covered the cake in chocolate ganache and poured melted dark chocolate over the top. The finishing touch was a decoration with whipped cream and walnuts, simple and classy. And being this probably the best week for foliage here in Dalarna, I collected some coloured leaves and photographed the cake with them to celebrate this wonderful month.
The ganache on the sides and dark chocolate covering on the top were a bit hard to cut but helped to keep this cake in place, so they’re both a good solution when a cake needs to be moved and travel to reach the party.
I love being busy baking in October. Next week I have my birthday! I’m still undecided what kind of cake to bake for myself… any suggestions?