All the Ukrainian dishes Francesca Kasa cooks for Easter came from her grandmother's repertoire, Kasa explains in today's Buffalo News Taste section. Here's Francesca's version of Olga Jakubowsky's mocha nut torte.
Mocha Nut Torte
12 egg yolks
12 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cup hazelnuts roasted, peeled & finely ground or finely ground walnuts
4 tablespoon plain bread crumbs
Grated zest of one orange or lemon
1 recipe cooked cream (to follow)
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
3-4 tablespoons instant coffe dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Finely chopped nuts or vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
For torte: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff and set aside. Beat yolks with sugar until very light in color. Add zest and vanilla, then nuts one tablespoon at a time. Mix well. Fold in whites, then bread crumbs. Bake in 2 well greased 8-inch springorm pans for 35-40 minutes.
For cooked cream: Mix egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together well. Heat milk to just under boiling. Temper egg mixture by adding abouut a half cup of hot milk to eggs and stir well, then add the whole thing back into the pan of hot milk. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Cool completely.
For frosting: Beat butter and cooled cream together. When mixed, drizzle in the coffee a little at a time, then cooled chocolate. Frost and fill torte layers with frosting, and press chopped nuts or cookie crumbs along sides.
(Source: Francesca Kasa)