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Walnut Mocha Torte

Walnut Mocha Torte


German-style torte made with ground walnuts, whipped eggs, and bread crumbs, and a mocha whipped cream frosting.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Happy Valentine’s! Here’s a special treat that would be perfect for the day of hearts: a German-style torte, a layered cake made with ground walnuts, whipped eggs, sugar and breadcrumbs, frosted with a light, mocha flavored whipping cream frosting.

The recipe comes from my friend Gabriele, who has been making it as her go-to special occasion cake for her family for 30 years.

The cake is almost flourless, having only 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, and has a lovely texture from the ground walnuts and whipped eggs.

To make the mocha frosting, you start with a base of strong coffee (I use decaf and double the amount of coffee I would normally use for drinking), sugar, some cornstarch, and a few chocolate chips.

These ingredients are simmered until thick, then cooled and folded in with stiffly whipped cream. The result is a light, creamy frosting with a lovely chocolate coffee mocha flavor.

The original recipe is a clipping that a friend of Gabi’s gave her years ago. I investigated the clipping and found that the recipe was published in a local newspaper in the late 70s as part of a menu celebrating the opening of the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California.

The original clipping instructions are rather sparse, so I’ve elaborated here to help ensure that you have a successful result if you make the recipe.

It’s actually much easier than it looks at first blush, but it does require some baking skill around whipping egg whites and gently folding things together.

Think of it like making a sweet soufflé, with ground nuts in the batter. A light touch will be rewarded.

Walnut Mocha Torte Recipe

To get started on this recipe, the first things you should do are to make the coffee for the frosting and to separate the eggs for the cake batter. Eggs will separate better when they are cold, right out of the refrigerator, but will whip up better if they are at room temp. So separate them first, and then prep the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup (120 g) finely ground walnuts (from about 1 1/3 cup of shelled walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) fine dry bread crumbs (plain, unseasoned)

Mocha Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces, 236 ml) strong coffee (I use decaf, with twice the amount of coffee for the liquid as I would usually use to drink)
  • 1 ounce (30 g) of chocolate chips (a little less than 1/4 of a cup)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces, 236 ml) heavy whipping cream

Method

1 Separate the eggs: Separate the eggs, into yolks and whites (see How to Separate Eggs). Take care to make sure there are no pieces of shell or egg yolk in the whites, and that the bowl you are using to contain them is completely clean with no residue of fat. Any fat from yolks or oil will make it difficult to beat the egg whites.

2 Prepare cake pans: Prepare two 9-inch cake pans. Line the pans with parchment paper or wax paper. Lightly butter the sides of the pans (not the paper).

3 Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

4 Mix ground walnuts and breadcrumbs: Mix together the ground walnuts and the bread crumbs in a small bowl and set aside.

5 Beat egg yolks with sugar: Place the egg yolks into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Slowly add 3/4 cup of white sugar and continue to beat the egg yolks until thick and pale. (I use a hand mixer for this.)

6 Whip egg whites, add sugar: Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy. Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of white sugar, and beat until soft peaks form.

7 Fold egg whites and walnut mixture into yolk mixture: With a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, alternately with the walnut mixture.

8 Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared, parchment-layered cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until a slight imprint remains when touched.

9 Make mocha frosting base: While the cake is cooking prepare the mocha frosting base. Place 1/2 cup of white sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a saucepan. Turn the heat onto medium and gradually stir in the coffee and the chocolate chips. Stir continuously until the mixture starts to simmer and thicken quite substantially.

Continue to stir while the mixture simmers for 1 minute. Then remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until well blended.

Let cool completely. (You will incorporate this mocha base into whipped cream when you frost the cake.)

10 Let cakes cool, remove from pans and remove paper: Remove the cakes from oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a dull knife around the edges of the cakes to separate it from the sides of the pans.

Carefully invert the cakes onto a rack. Carefully peel back and discard the parchment or wax paper. Let cool completely. Note that if you want to make ahead, you can cook the cakes first, let cool to room temp, wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze until you are ready to frost and serve.

11 Complete the frosting: Whip the cream until it is rather thick, just before that point to which if you kept on whipping it would turn to butter. This will help it hold up as a frosting. Once whipped, fold the whipped cream and mocha base together.

It may be a little speckled, and if you fold it only lightly, you can have almost a marbling effect of light and dark with the frosting, if you wish.

Place one cake on a serving platter. Frost the top. Place the second cake on top of it, and frost the top and sides of the cake. Serve immediately, or keep chilled until serving.

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Walnut Mocha Torte - Recipes

Ukrainians pride themselves on baking the best tortes, and Walnut Torte is one of the most traditional ones.

I was a lucky recipient of this torte from my daughter’s kitchen, for this year’s birthday.

She found this particular recipe on Katya’s Homepage, a few years ago, but did not have a chance to test it, until this year. Lucky me!!

Tortes require time and patience, as you can see from reviewing this recipe, but it is a labor of love, and well worth the effort.

This torte was absolutely delicious, and I am very proud of my daughter, as she did a beautiful job baking and decorating it for my special day.

I encourage you to give it a try, and you will love it as well.

A delicious serving of this decadent Ukrainian Walnut Torte.

  • 10 oz. walnuts, finely ground
  • 3 Tbs. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 12 large eggs, separated
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Combine the ground walnuts, flour, cornstarch, and baking powder (dry ingredients mixture)
  2. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, place the egg whites and salt.
  4. Beat to stiff peaks, and set aside.
  5. In another large bowl, place the egg yolks and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the granulated sugar and continue mixing for about 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick and fluffy.
  7. Mix in 2 tsp. vanilla, and set aside
  8. Sprinkle the walnut mixture (dry ingredients mixture) over the yolk mixture.
  9. Fold in the egg whites, until combined.
  10. Prepare two round cake pans by lining the bottom with a circle cut out from parchment paper.
  11. Grease the parchment paper bottom and the sides of the cake pans.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  13. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
  14. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake centers spring back to touch, or do the toothpick test, and the toothpick comes out clean.
  15. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  16. Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan, by running a knife around the pan sides.
  17. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes.
  18. Cool completely.


The answer is simple, Simplicity, Foolproof, Straightforward, and Tested. Yes, all recipes have been tested before posting including this Mocha Walnut Torte.

Ready to make this Mocha Walnut Torte Recipe? Let’s do it!

Oh, before I forget…If you’re looking for recipes that are simple to follow, then we’ve got your back. With over 55,000 recipes in our database, we’ve got the best recipes you’re craving for.

1/2 pk (15-ounce) refrigerated
-piecrusts
2 Squares (1-ounce)
-unsweetened chocolate
1/4 c Butter or margarine
1 cn (14-ounce) sweetened
-condensed milk
1/4 c Coffee liqueur or strong
-brewed coffee (up to 1/3)
2 lg Eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 ts Salt
1 c Walnuts, toasted and chopped

Fit piecrust into a 10-inch tart pan according to package directions
(If you don’t have a tart pan, use a 9-inch pieplate). Trim off
excess pastry. Line pastry with aluminum foil, and fill with pie
weights or dried beans. Bake at 450=B0 for 7 to 9 minutes or until
lightly browned.

Melt chocolate and butter in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring
constantly. Stir in condensed milk and next 3 ingredients. Pour into
prepared piecrust sprinkle with walnuts.

Bake at 350=B0 for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set. Serve
chilled or warm with ice cream. Makes 1 (10-inch) tart.

To reduce fat and calories, substitute low-fat sweetened condensed
milk.

Yields
1 Torte


Cooking Instructions German Mocha Cake

The Day before you Make the Cake:

  • Prepare the filling: Place heavy cream (for the filling) into a pan and bring slowly while mixing to a boil. Break chocolate into small pieces. Add to the cream and let it melt. Add the instant coffee, mix well and keep it in the fridge over night.
  • Make the base cake the day before as well. Beat eggs, water, vanilla sugar and sugar until bubbly.
    Mix flour with baking powder and starch, add spoon by spoon to the egg mix.
    Layer a springform (11 inches) with parchment paper.
    Place dough into form and bake for 25-30 min on 350 F. When done keep base cake in the form and place it in fridge over night.

The Next Day:

  • Release base cake from the form. Use a thin knife around the edges, pull off the paper.
    Cut the base cake twice – you should have three layers.
  • Add Whip it and Vanilla sugar to the filling and beat until the cream is firm.
  • Spread a thin layer of cherry jam on each layer.
  • Spread 3/4 of the filling on each layer and all around the cake.
  • Fill remaining cream in a decorating bag and make little dabbers on top, one for each piece (the photo shows 16). You can also add a bigger dabber in the middle.
  • Place on each dabber one chocolate mocha bean.
  • Carefully add the almond slices all around the edges of the cake – if you like on top too.
  • Before you serve and cut the cake keep cool for 2 hours.

Tip
Instead of almond slices use dark grated chocolate or use dark chocolate sprinkles.


Grease and lightly dust two 8 x 1-inch round baking pans with wheat protein isolate.

In a medium bowl combine the walnuts or pecans, wheat protein isolate, and baking powder.

In a blender container or food processor bowl blend eggs and sugar substitute until smooth. Add nut mixture and blend until smooth.

Spread cake batter in prepared pans.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched (center may dip slightly).

Cool in pans for 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small chilled bowl, dissolve crushed coffee crystals in whipping cream.

Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until slightly thickened.

Add sugar substitute and cocoa powder beat until stiff peaks form.

Split each cake in half horizontally (4 thin round cake layers).

Spread frosting between layers, then frost top and sides of cake.

Chill frosted cake several hours before serving.

To serve, cut into wedges top with chocolate curls and garnish with rose petals or violets, if desired.

Per Serving: 258 Calories 22g Fat (75.2% calories from fat) 8g Protein 8g Carbohydrate 2g Dietary Fiber 134mg Cholesterol 193mg Sodium.


6 Layer Mocha Torte

Preheat oven to 325. Dissolve the coffee in cold water. Beat egg yolks until light, then add sugar in a thin stream. Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. Gradually add the egg mixture, alternating with coffee mixture, to the flour mixture. Add vanilla and ground nuts. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into batter. Pour into 3 buttered & floured 9" cake pans.* *I like to put a greased & floured circle of wax paper in the bottom of each pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325. Watch carefully. It should rise in the center & a toothpick poked in center should come out clean. When the layers are completely cool, cut each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Separate each layer with wax paper & put into a tight cake carrier OR zip log bags. It will keep several days until you are ready to frost it.

2 c powdered sugar

2 tsp cocoa

1/2 tsp instant coffee

2 Tbsp Cointreau OR Triple Sec

2 Tbsp orange juice

Cream the butter & gradually add the sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until very smooth. Spread a smooth even layer on 5 of the 6 layers. Do NOT put the filling on the top layer. Stack the layers.

4 c powdered sugar

4 tsp cocoa

1 tsp instant coffee

4 Tbsp Cointreau OR Triple Sec

2 c butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa & coffee. Add the liqueur, butter & vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost the top & sides of the torte. Garnish. IMPORTANT Cut the torte into extremely thin layers, maybe 2 cm.


HUNGARIAN TRANSYLVANIAN WALNUT TORTE WITH MOCHA BUTTER ICING

When I was a child, my father used to tell me that my mother’s family came from Transylvania, the home of Count Dracula. I was never sure if he was just joking or if Mom’s family really were neighbors of Bela Lugosi. I loved going with Dad to the dusk ‘til dawn drive-in movies. I took it so seriously that I had a plastic garlic wreath hanging on my bedroom door to keep the vampires away, hence his tales about Transylvania!


As it turns out, he was serious. Both my parents came from Hungary and indeed, Mom’s family originated from the area known as Transylvania. According to Wikipedia, “the Kingdom of Hungary firmly established control over Transylvania in 1003”, and my Mom’s home town region was in this part of Romania. As a teenager, I was blessed to be able to tour Hungary and Romania, including the region that is the home of the legendary Count Dracula, the place where my favorite cake recipe originated.

Through the generations, this incredible dessert was handed down, one that I watched both Nagymama and Anyu make when I was growing up. Looking back, I am so grateful that I took notes on how to create this delicious torte. European ladies are known for not following a formal recipe, but rather bake by tossing in “a little of this” and “a pinch of that”. I have what is the closest thing to an actual recipe for this Hungarian torte. My Mom (Anyu) lovingly taught me how to make what is one of the most mouthwatering, moist, and “to die for” desserts. People who have tried it have actually told me it is the best cake they have ever tasted! It is with gratitude and pride that I share my family heritage through this recipe.

1 dozen large eggs, separated
12 heaping T. icing sugar
12 T. ground walnuts
1 T. finely ground plain breadcrumbs
1 T. flour
1 l/2 t. baking powder
1 T. grated lemon peel
1/3 c. cold water

The secret “ingredient” is in the method, which is very meticulous and took me awhile to perfect.

First, separate the eggs with an egg separator into two large bowls (#1 + #2) set egg whites (#2) aside.

To bowl (#1) containing the egg yolks, add the 12 T. of icing sugar and beat with an electric mixer for at least 15 -20 minutes until the mixture is a very light shade of yellow (I am truly amazed that in my great grandmother’s day, there were no electric beaters and this had to be done by hand!).

In a medium sized bowl (#3), add walnuts, flour, breadcrumbs, and baking powder mix well with a spoon.

Add the contents of this dry ingredient mixture (approximately ¼ of the bowl at a time) to the egg mixture (#!), and beat slowly until blended. Add water. Blend slowly for about 30 seconds.

Mix in lemon peel by hand as it tends to stick to the beaters.

Beat egg whites and pinch of salt until stiff, approximately 10 minutes (#2). This next step is crucial. Slowly fold egg whites into bowl #1, l/4 of bowl #2 at a time. Do this very gently with a plastic spatula, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl each time to mix thoroughly.

Pour evenly into 3 greased and floured spring form pans. Bake @ 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes until lightly browned on top and toothpick comes out dry when inserted into cake. Turn oven off and leave cake in pans on wrack to cool. Don’t be alarmed if cakes “fall” they should level out evenly with pan.

Now it’s time to make the icing while cake is cooling.

1 ¼ c. icing sugar
½ lb. sweet (unsalted) butter at room temperature
3 heaping T. cocoa
1/3 c. strong coffee
3-4 T. strong run or rum flavoring

Beat icing sugar and butter for at least 15- 20 minutes in a large bowl until it is light fluffy and almost doubled in volume.

Add next three ingredients alternately and beat after each addition. This will take practice to get the exact flavor you want.

Remove cake from pans by running a wet knife around edges of pan and then pop out bottom. Slice along bottom of cake with wet knife to remove from pan bottom and place first layer of cooled cake on cake plate or platter. Mentally divide icing into four parts.

Frost first layer, place second layer on top and frost, then third layer followed by around the sides. If cake does not look even, don’t worry, the icing will camouflage this. Lastly, frost the top of cake last. Be creative by piping icing on top edges with a floret in the middle and/or sprinkle with ground walnuts.

This cake will freeze well. Some Hungarian ladies do this to create an even moister cake! Slice into quarters and then those quarters into 4 for 16 perfect slices.

Whenever you make this cake, not only are you recreating some fascinating Hungarian history and tradition, but you are also going to be the “star” of any party you give or attend with this luscious dessert. Enjoy it with passion! Csokolum!


Recipe for Passover walnut torte with mocha cream

Passover walnut torte with mocha cream Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

A two-layer cake made with ground walnuts and covered with whipped cream flavored with coffee and chocolate, this torte has no leavening agent, which makes it ideal for the Passover table. Beating air into the yolks and whites is the key to this confection. The somewhat unusual technique of folding three layers together — the yolks, the whites, and a ground walnut-orange mixture — with the lightest (the whites) on top, is a way of retaining as much air as possible. It is worth the extra touch of coating walnuts with chocolate for the garnish. It turns an ordinary cake into a festive dessert. To pipe whipped cream rosettes, you need a pastry bag and star tip.

Butter (for the pans)
cups walnuts
6tablespoons potato starch
1tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1tablespoon ground cinnamon
Grated rind of 1 large orange
5eggs, separated, plus 1 extra white
½teaspoon salt
¾cup sugar

1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven set the temperature at 375 degrees. Butter two 9-by-1½-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit them and butter the paper.

2. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, potato starch, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and orange rind. Pulse the mixture until the walnuts are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold all the batter.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the whites until foamy. Add the salt and gradually add ¼ cup of the sugar. Beat at medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the whites hold soft peaks. With a rubber spatula, scrape them into another bowl.

4. In the mixer bowl, beat the yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar at medium high speed for 4 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and light in color. Place it on the walnut mixture. Place the whites on top and gently fold the three layers together.

5. Divide the batter between the pans, smoothing the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched with a fingertip and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pans.

6. Set the pans on wire racks to cool for 20 minutes. Turn them out and set them right side up on the racks to cool completely.

2cups heavy cream
3tablespoons sugar
2ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2teaspoons instant espresso coffee

1. In a saucepan, bring ½ cup of the heavy cream and the sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

2. Add the chocolate and coffee use a whisk to stir thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cool.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the cool chocolate mixture with the remaining 1½ cups cream until it holds stiff peaks.

4. In a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, put 1 cup of the mocha cream refrigerate.

5. Remove the parchment paper from the cake rounds. Place 1 round right side up on a serving platter. Spread mocha cream evenly over the top. Place the other layer upside down on the cream and press down lightly. Cover the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining cream. Dip a metal spatula into very hot water. Wipe it dry and very quickly smooth the top and sides of the cake.

6. Use the cream in the pastry bag to pipe 12 evenly spaced rosettes along the top edge. Refrigerate the torte for 2 hours.

2ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
12walnut halves

1. In a small bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water, melt the chocolate. Dip the ends of the walnuts into the chocolate so they are coated ¾ of the way. Place them on parchment paper and refrigerate to set the chocolate.


6 Layer Mocha Torte

Preheat oven to 325. Dissolve the coffee in cold water. Beat egg yolks until light, then add sugar in a thin stream. Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. Gradually add the egg mixture, alternating with coffee mixture, to the flour mixture. Add vanilla and ground nuts. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into batter. Pour into 3 buttered & floured 9" cake pans.* *I like to put a greased & floured circle of wax paper in the bottom of each pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325. Watch carefully. It should rise in the center & a toothpick poked in center should come out clean. When the layers are completely cool, cut each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Separate each layer with wax paper & put into a tight cake carrier OR zip log bags. It will keep several days until you are ready to frost it.

2 c powdered sugar

2 tsp cocoa

1/2 tsp instant coffee

2 Tbsp Cointreau OR Triple Sec

2 Tbsp orange juice

Cream the butter & gradually add the sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until very smooth. Spread a smooth even layer on 5 of the 6 layers. Do NOT put the filling on the top layer. Stack the layers.

4 c powdered sugar

4 tsp cocoa

1 tsp instant coffee

4 Tbsp Cointreau OR Triple Sec

2 c butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa & coffee. Add the liqueur, butter & vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost the top & sides of the torte. Garnish. IMPORTANT Cut the torte into extremely thin layers, maybe 2 cm.


Walnut Mocha Torte - Recipes

My brother’s birthday was last week. He’s just turned a quarter century! It was also my baby cousin’s birthday. He just turned one.

I volunteered to make 2 cakes for them. One of the cakes I made was this walnut mocha torte. One of the requests was a chocolate cake, but I was at a lost of what to make. A few things crossed my mind. The original request was for a black forest cake, but most of the recipes I came across used canned cherry pie filling and/or Kirschwasser. I didn’t want to buy the alcohol just of one use, so I did some more brainstorming. I though of German Chocolate cake, but my sister told me she wasn’t too fond of it. I would have had a hell of a time finding German chocolate as well.

I decided to look through the cookbooks I had at home for ideas. For some reason, I always forget that I have a supply of cookbooks at home to reference too. I’ve been relying on food blogs and online recipes a lot lately. I guess I like to read reviews on the recipes before I try them blind.

I saw this walnut mocha torte in my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I was surprised that it only called for a few ingredients and was so simple. Since I was making 2 cakes, one of which was an ice cream cake that had to be assembled, I thought this easy peasy torte was a great idea. I was surprised that it didn’t call for any oil and a minimal amount of flour. I was concerned of how it would taste in the end. I’m glad I made it though, because it ended up tasting really good.

Since I used 9 inch pans instead of the 8 inch the recipe calls for, my cake was a little bit thinner than pictured in the cookbook. The batter looked really thin before it was baked, but the baking powder I added allowed for adequate rising, so don’t worry if it looks like there’s nothing in the pan when you pour it in.

Walnut Mocha Torte
adapted from: Better Homes and Garden New cookbook, also found online here

ingredients:
for the cake:
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
chocolate curls or shavings (for decoration, optional)

for the frosting:
1 tsp instant coffee
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans (I used 9 inch pans). Set pans aside. In a medium bowl combine nuts, flour, and baking powder set aside.

In a blender or food processor combine eggs and sugar cover and blend or process until smooth. Add nut mixture. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched (centers may dip slightly). (Since I used 9 inch pans I baked for 15 mins.) Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.

to make the frosting:
In a chilled small mixing bowl dissolve instant coffee in 1 cup whipping cream add sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

Spread Mocha Frosting on each layer stack layers. Loosely cover and chill frosted cake for 2 to 24 hours. If desired, top with chocolate curls.