250g pack softened butter, plus extra for the tins
100ml strong black coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules), cooled
280g self-raising flour
250g golden caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g walnuts, 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped
For the filling
100g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
150ml double cream
100g mascarpone, at room temperature
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment. Set aside 1 tbsp of the coffee for the filling.
Beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and half the remaining coffee in a large bowl with an electric whisk until lump-free. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts, then divide between the tins and roughly spread. Scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over one of the cakes. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until golden and risen, and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Drizzle the plain cake with the remaining coffee. Cool the cakes in the tins.
Meanwhile, make the filling: beat together the icing sugar, cream and mascarpone, then fold in the reserved 2 tbsp coffee. Spread over the plain cake, then cover with the walnut-topped cake and dust with a little icing sugar.
2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold & cut into chunks
pinch of kosher salt
2 Bosc pears, peeled, halved & cored
2 cups Moscato wine
1/2 vanilla bean, split
10 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (or semi-sweet)
1 cup heavy cream
Add the toasted walnuts to a food processor and process just until fine. Over processing with result in walnut butter, so be careful. Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal, about 5 times.
Pour the walnut mixture into a springform pan and press lightly into the bottom and up the sides by 2 inches. The mixture will be crumbly at first but will press into a crust.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove outer ring and cool for 20 more minutes.
Start by peeling 2 pears and core with a melon baller.
Bring the Moscato and vanilla bean to a boil, slide in the pear halves and lower the temperature to medium low and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the pears are fork tender. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Add the chocolate and cream to a small saucepan and set over medium low heat. Don’t stir. Allow the chocolate to get soft and once it looks shiny and soft remove from the heat and stir briskly until smooth.
Pour into the cooled walnut crust. Slice the pears width wise and place them into the ganache carefully so they don’t sink. Repeat with remaining pear halves. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Bring slightly to room temperature before serving.