Walnut Cake: Preheat
your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick
vegetable spray, two - 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans with 2 inch (5 cm) sides.
Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
In a bowl,
whisk or sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl
of your electric stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the
sugars and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy (about
3 minutes). Add the eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla
extract. Scrape down the sides and
the bowl as needed. With the
mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture (in three additions) alternately with
the milk and coffee (in two additions), starting and ending with the
flour. Mix only until combined.
Fold in the chopped walnuts.
batter evenly between the two prepared pans (about 445 grams in each pan) and smooth
the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 20
minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly
pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool (in their pans) for about 10
one cake at a time, place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting
off the pan. Remove the parchment paper and then, to prevent cracks, re-invert
the cakes onto a wire rack so that the tops are right side up. Cool
completely before frosting.
Frosting: In the bowl of
your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the
mascarpone until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee mixture and
beat until smooth and well blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your
bowl. Add the cold whipping cream and, using the
whisk attachment, beat the frosting until medium soft peaks form (frosting should be
of spreading consistency). Do not over beat or the frosting will curdle.
First remove about 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) of the frosting and place in a piping
bag fitted with a star tip (I used a Wilton 1M). Then place one cake layer, top
of the cake facing down, onto your serving plate. Spread with half the
frosting. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, top of the cake
facing down, and cover the top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Then pipe swirls of frosting on the top of
the cake. Place a walnut on each swirl of frosting.
Makes about 10-12
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