5 days of christmas 2016 - walnut macaroon layer cake

Hi every-one and welcome to day 3 of Christmas week. Today I'm sharing with you a Trine Hahnemann recipe for a walnut macaroon layer cake which would be a great do-ahead Christmas dessert. Three walnut meringue layers are sandwiched together with coffee cream and topped with melted chocolate.

There's nothing too complicated about this cake, it's just a little time consuming to make because of the 3 walnut meringue layers. I had 2 tins so baked 2 layers at a time. 

The meringue deflated a bit while waiting to be used, so the third layer was a little flatter than the others. I tucked that layer in the middle out of harm's way and the coffee cream covers a multitude of sins.

For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. The eggs I use are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. Here's the recipe for you if you'd like to try this for Christmas. 

Walnut Macaroon Layer Cake - Serves 10

For the cakes
Butter for the tin(s)
300g walnuts
200g caster sugar
6 egg whites

For the coffee cream
300 mls double cream
3–4 tbs soft brown sugar
1 tbs instant coffee

For the glaze
100g best dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids
20g butter
12 walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Line the bases of three 24cm diameter springform tins with baking parchment and butter them lightly or, more probably, line and butter the one tin you have and re-use it to make the other two cakes.

Blend the nuts in a food processor with half the sugar until the nuts are finely chopped. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add the remaining sugar little by little, whisking after each addition, until glossy. Fold in the nut mixture. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes, or pour one-third of the batter into one tin and bake for 35 minutes, then repeat to bake the following two cakes. Leave to cool on wire racks lined with baking parchment, to prevent sticking, overnight if possible. 

Put all the ingredients for the coffee cream into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff. Take a big round serving dish and place the base layer (usually the least attractive layer) of cake on it. Spread half the cream evenly over, then place the middle layer on top and spread with the remaining cream. Now place the most attractive cake on top. Break the chocolate into pieces, place in a small heatproof bowl and fit over a saucepan of simmering water; the bowl should not touch the water. Melt the chocolate, then remove from the heat, add the butter and mix well. Leave to cool slightly, then spread the chocolate over the top layer and decorate with the walnut halves around the edge. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.

I'm not a coffee lover but the end result was pretty subtle and not too sweet. To ensure even cutting I'd store the cake overnight in the fridge, allowing the meringue layers to soften making it easier to cut. 

The chocolate layer sets really hard, shattering when cut, so I think a dark chocolate ganache topping would be a better option. You can find a ganache recipe here which you'd need to double to top a 23 cm cake.

See you all again tomorrow with Day 4 of Christmas week.

Bye for now,



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