Many years ago when I first became interested in pastry and baking, I found a book at the library introducing me to Viennese Tortes and pastries. I was fascinated by them to the point I copied the entire book for my personal use. This was ages before the internet and the book was no longer on the market. A version of this Viennese Walnut and Chocolate Sponge Cake was in the book.
As with some early Viennese Tortes, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs finely ground would be used in place of flour. Another rendering of this cake was in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”. It did use cracker crumbs. However, for this version I wanted to use a sponge which would accept a brandy soaking syrup. The original recipe for the cake in my book used only the cake and a coffee buttercream. I expanded upon that idea for this cake.
The recipe for the Viennese Walnut and Chocolate sponge cake is based on Bo Friberg’s Hazelnut-Chocolate Sponge in his book, “Professional Pastry Chef”. This is one of my go to books if I am stumped by something. The sheer volume of information in charts and graphs is astounding. There have been several updates to the book. I have Volume 4 which is over 1,000 pages. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require beating the egg yolks and whites separately. It uses whole eggs that are warmed over a double boiler so they can reach maximum volume. It is easy and as far as I can see, foolproof as long as you fold the dry ingredients quickly and gently. Continue reading