Andrew of Spittoon Extra is hosting this month's Waiter There's Something in My ... blogging event, and has chosen the theme of layered cake. The requirement for participation is to blog about a multi-layered, baked cake.
While sitting in one of my favourite cafes, Raydar, in Richmond, I was flipping through the December 2003 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller when my eye was caught by a photograph of a beautiful multi-layered cake, labelled Zabaglione and Raspberry Torte. I scribbled down the recipe on a stray piece of paper from my handbag, and thought that it would be perfect for this month's Waiter event.
This cake is rich but delicious. It is a definite "special occasion" cake, but is worth the effort required to make it. And I think you'll agree from the photographs that it is truly a beautiful cake!
The recipe is as follows:
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup marsala
1/3 cup thickened cream
Combine egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a heat-proof bowl and whisk until well combined. Whisk in marsala. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk mixture until thick. Remove bowl from heat and cool mixture. Beat cream until firm peaks form, then fold into custard mixture. Cool the custard to room temperature.
2/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
75g almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
125g unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup caster sugar, extra
icing sugar (for dusting)
Sift flours, almond meal and baking powder into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add vanilla. Add egg yolks one at a time, stirring between additions. Stir in flours and milk alternately in two batches, and mix well. Whisk egg whites with sugar until thick and glossy. Fold half of egg whites into batter, then fold in the other half of the egg whites until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased, lined 22cm cake tin, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool completely.
Cut cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Put base layer into the bottom of a lined springform pan. Spread half of the custard over the base, and top with half of the raspberries. Repeat cake, custard and raspberry layers once more, then top with the final cake layer. Cover the top of the springform pan with clingfilm, and refrigerate overnight. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
This cake is absolutely delicious, consisting of a delicate almondy cake filled with smooth and creamy custard and fruit. I made it for an informal dinner party, and it was a hit. It is also the first time that I have attempted to create layers by cutting one cake into several layers rather than baking several separate cakes, and I was proud of my efforts. I read that the trick to even layers is to place the cake on a lazy susan, and rotate the cake while you first mark a groove around it for each layer with a serrated knife, then continue cutting into that groove deeper and deeper as you rotate the cake until the layers have been sliced through. It worked pretty well! However, note that the cake is quite delicate, so be careful with the layers once sliced.
Thanks to Andrew of Spittoon Extra for hosting this month's Waiter There's Something in My ... event, and I look forward to the roundup!
Postscript: The roundup is now available here. Read it and weep with joy!