Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 2015 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Esterhazy Torte

For the month of January, Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake, aka the Hungarian Dream. What better way to start the new year than with a sweet dream?

I love it when the Daring Kitchen introduces me to something completely new, and this was definitely the case with the Esterhazy Torte. While the traditional recipe calls for hazelnuts, I opted to use almonds, which are a common substitution in this cake in parts of Austria. While the cake is a bit time consuming to prepare, it is absolutely delicious, and the spider-web design on top is sure to impress guests!

Esterhazy Torte
Makes one 9-inch torte

8 egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of cinnamon
150 g almond flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
butter, to grease parchment paper

14 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 cups whole milk
5.1 oz instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp kirsch

2 cups confectioner's sugar
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tbsp hot water
1 tsp cocoa powder
toasted almonds, to finish cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Beat together egg whites with 2/3 of the confectioner's sugar, until mixture holds soft peaks. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon, and remaining sugar and continue beating until mixture holds stiff peaks. Fold in almond flour and all-purpose flour carefully, trying to prevent the egg whites from losing volume. 
3. Draw five 9-inch circles on pieces of parchment paper, and lightly butter the paper. Spread thin layers of the batter onto the circles.
4. Bake each layer at 350 F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Use a spatula to carefully loosen each layer from the parchment paper and allow to cool.
5. Prepare cream filling by beating the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Whisk together the milk, instant pudding mix, and kirsch for about 2 minutes. Whisk the butter mixture into the pudding mixture until smooth.
6. Assemble cake by layering the cake layers with the cream filling. Leave the top of the cake bare, but save enough cream filling to spread onto the sides of the cake at the end.
7. Prepare icing by whisking together sugar, lemon juice, and hot water until smooth and easy to spread. Set aside a small amount of icing in a separate bowl, and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.
8. To decorate the cake, place the chocolate icing in a pastry bag. The decoration must  be done quickly, before the icing sets. Carefully and quickly spread white icing onto top of cake. Use a pastry bag to pipe 4 concentric circles of the chocolate icing onto the cake. Use a toothpick or knife to draw lines from the center of the circle to the edge and back, alternating directions to create the web design.
9. Spread remaining cream filling around the sides of the cake, and add toasted almonds around the sides.
10. Enjoy! 

-Cake recipe adapted from http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/viennese-cuisine/recipes/esterhazytorte. Filling and icing adapted from http://www.masalaherb.com/2012/08/esterhazy-torte.html.
-Posted by Jennifer

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