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Japonaise? No, not Japanese mayonnaise lol. This is a wonderful cake made of discs of almond meringue sandwiched together with a coffee-flavored butter cream. It was popular when I was a child growing up in Australia and, happily, I recently discovered this recipe which originally appeared in a Vogue Entertaining magazine. It is not at all difficult, and is best made a day in advance and refrigerated until just before serving. Very rich!!
- 1 1⁄4 cups ground almonds
- 1⁄4 cup superfine sugar
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 5 egg whites
- 2⁄3 cup superfine sugar, extra
For Coffee Butter Cream
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coffee extract
- 6 egg yolks, beaten lightly
- 8 ounces cold butter
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted lightly
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour 3 baking trays, or line them with baking paper, and mark each with an 8" circle.
- Place ground almonds, superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, mix together, and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a small bowl until they form soft peaks.
- Gradually add the extra superfine sugar, and continue beating until the mixture resembles uncooked meringue.
- Carefully fold the almond mixture, that was set aside, into the meringue.
- Spread meringue mixture on to each of the 3 trays inside the marked circles, or use a piping bag with a 1/2" nozzle to pipe a spiral within each circle.
- Place two of the trays on the centre shelf of the oven and the third on the shelf below.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until meringue is a pale, golden colour- if necessary move the bottom tray to the centre shelf and cook a further 5 minutes.
- Allow the trays to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before loosening the meringues with a large spatula- do not remove meringues from trays until they have completely cooled.
- For the coffee butter cream- bring the sugar and water to the boil in a small pan, then reduce heat and simmer until the syrup thickens.
- Remove from heat and add the coffee essence, and stir briefly to combine.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and, beating continuously with an electric mixer, add the coffee syrup.
- While continuing to beat, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is all amalgamated.
- Taste, and add more coffee essence if desired.
- Cool the butter cream in the refrigerator until it reaches spreading consistency.
- To assemble the torte, place one meringue layer on a serving platter and spread with some butter cream.
- Place second meringue on top, spread with butter cream, and repeat with the third meringue.
- Cover the top of torte, and the side, with remaining butter cream.
- Sprinkle toasted almond flakes all over, to decorate, then place in refrigerator until 10 to 15 minutes before serving time, preferably overnight.
- Dust top with powdered sugar to serve.