Prep 4 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
A very elegant Frech Pastry cake. I have not made this myself it is for an ISO request. Not an easy cake to make but very beautiful and delicios when done. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare this. Definately not a recipe for an inexpierienced chef's first try! But for an expierenced Baker I say go for it :)
- 1 1⁄2 cups blanched almonds
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 egg whites
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄4 cream of tartar
- 1⁄8 cream of tartar
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 1 1⁄2 cups sweet butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 cup praline, powder
- cooking oil
- powdered sugar
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1⁄2 cup blanched almond
- In saucepan combine: 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup blanched almonds.
- Cook without stirring until mixture is color of dark molasses.
- Pour onto oiled cookie sheet and let cool.
- Detach the praline from sheet with pancake turner and break into pieces.
- Blend half at a time in container of an electric blender for about 20 seconds, or until ground to a fine powder.
- Store in refrigerator in a tightly closed container.
- Preheat oven to very hot 450 degrees F.
- In separate pans or pie plates put 1+ 1/2 cups blanched almonds and 1 full cup skinned hazelnuts.
- Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until brown, shaking pans occasionally.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Grind 1 cup at a time in an electric blender on high speed for about 5 seconds, and empty into a bowl.
- Mix ground nuts with 1 1/2 cups sugar.
- Reduce oven to very slow 250º F.
- Beat until stiff: 8 egg whites (reserve yolks for butter cream), a pinch of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.
- Gradually fold in the sugar-nut mixture.
- Line baking sheets with waxed paper and butter paper lightly.
- On it mark 4 bands about 12 inches long and 4 wide.
- Spread these bands thickly with the meringue-nut mixture, and bake in the slow oven for about 30 minutes, or until crusty on top, but still pliable.
- Invert on waxed paper, and carefully remove waxed paper from bottom of bands.
- Melt 6 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces over hot water.
- Cut circles 2 1/2 inches in diameter from waxed paper and spread these rounds with a thin coating of the melted chocolate.
- Place rounds on a cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator.
- In saucepan combine: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar.
- Bring to a boil and boil rapidly to 240ºF on a candy thermometer, or until syrup spins a long thread.
- Gradually beat the hot syrup into 8 egg yolks, and continue to beat until the mixture is cool and thick.
- Beat in bit by bit: 1+1/2 cups sweet butter.
- This makes 1 quart butter cream.
- Measure 1 cup of the butter cream and flavor it with 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Measure a second cup and flavor it with 1/4 cup praline powder.
- Melt: 3 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces with 1 tablespoon water and stir into remaining butter cream.
- Chill all cream until firm enough to spread.
- PRESENTATION: Place a meringue band on a serving plate and spread with vanilla cream.
- Top with second meringue band and spread with half the chocolate cream.
- Top with the third meringue band.
- Frost sides with remaining chocolate cream and sprinkle top heavy with confectioner's sugar.
- Carefully peel waxed paper from bottom of the chocolate wafers and decorate the sides of the cake by overlapping the wafers all the way around.
This is my favorite cake ever. Most people's reaction to this cake is "You could make a lot of money selling this" I was introduced to this at my first job busing tables at a French restaurant. Make sure NOT to overcook the meringue/cake mixture. It should be soft and chewy and not hard like a normal baked meringue. I just fill 2 small sheets and cut them in half to get my 4 layers. If you do it freeform, you can use an electric carving knife to easily square off the cake. I also find it easiest to make a chocolate ganache and just pour it over the perfectly symmetrical rectangular assembled cake.<br/><br/>Some tips. I use my convection oven at 400 to roast the nuts. The hazlenuts roast in about 5-7 minutes and the allmonds about 10-12. 20 minutes at 425 is WAY too long and will burn the nuts. I like to pull the almond brittle when it's a caramel color. Dark molasses tends to taste burnt to me. I also carefully mix the brittle once or twice with a rubber spatula. Don't use a metal utensil or you could crystalize the sugar. My burner heats the center too hot and if I don't mix it, I get a burnt center before the perimeter is colored.