Author Notes: My dear aunty Clare always made this divine cake for special family events.
Then I took over this tradition. A few years ago I was looking in my recipe notebook for a cake for Passover, and there it was the perfect one, my favorite Shunt-éclair.
I think the name of the cake came from the filling, it is the same pastry cream as in éclairs, but when I am in the mood for a deep chocolate flavored cake, I add 2-3 tablespoons of the best cocoa powder to the crusts batter and fill the cake with a chocolate or mocha mousse, which has a lot of dark rum.
Ingredients for the crusts
- • 12 large egg whites
- • 1 ½ cups organic granulated sugar
- • 41/2 cups fine ground walnuts
- • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- • Zest of 1 large lemon
- • ½ teaspoon of salt
Ingredients for the Pastry Cream
- • 2 cups milk
- • 6 egg yolks
- • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
- • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- •1• 1 vanilla bean split open in half lengthwise and the beans scraped
- • Zest of 1 lemon
- • 3-4 tablespoons butter
- Directions for the crusts: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- To make the crusts: Carefully separate the eggs wile they are cold into two bowls. Set the bowl with egg whites, lemon juice and salt over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until it is warm to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the simmering water).
- Take of the bowl and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, and beat until forms stiff peaks. In a separate bowl combine the walnuts and lemon zest. Gently fold in the fluffy egg whites in four additions.
- In a separate bowl combine the walnuts and lemon zest. Gently fold in the fluffy egg whites in four additions. Divide the batter in 3 equal portions.
- Bake on buttered parchment paper in a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, or turn a cake pan upside down and bake on the top. Check on the crusts, do not let them get to dark, they bake very fast (about 15 minutes).
- To make the Pastry Cream: In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, vanilla pod and beans plus 1 cup sugar. Scald the mixture and immediately remove from heat. Beat egg yolks with remaining 1cup sugar until thick. Sprinkle in cornstarch and continue beating until well mixed.
- Discord the vanilla pod. Slowly beat half of the hot milk into yolk mixture. Return this to the remaining hot milk and bring to a boil quickly, whisking very fast to prevent scorching until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in butter and strain into a bowl to cool.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming; cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely. Can be made a few hours ahead.
- To assemble the cake: Cover layers of the cake with the pastry cream. Finish the cake with a beautiful chocolate glaze. (Ganache)
- To make the Chocolate Ganache: In a sauce pan, bring to a simmer 3/4 cup heavy cream. Pour over 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (chopped) and 1 teaspoon of Instant coffee, mix until smooth and shiny. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cold butter and 2 tablespoons of dark rum.