Whenever there is a celebration or special occasion in my families, or friends, they seem to always choose this classic cake. But, I sometimes don't want to wait for that special occasion to enjoy the delicate and delicious bite from this cake. I thought it would be nice to enjoy the cake on the weekend. The cake, like everyone might guess, may seem daunting by the look and the process. Fear not, it was pretty simple, and straight forward. The only thing you need is time and patient. That's all!
Recipe adapted from:
Gourmet Magazine, September 2004
Serve 6 To 8
For Almond Sponge Cake
3 tbs cake flour
2 large whole eggs, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup almond flour
½ cup confectioner's sugar, sifted after measuring
¹⁄₈ tsp cream of tartar
¹⁄₈ tsp salt
1 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted-cooled
- Put the oven rack in the middle position, preheat to 425⁰F. Butter a 15-by 10 inch shallow baking pan, then line with the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper as well. Dust pan with cake flour, knocking out excess. Set aside.
- Beat the whole eggs until triple in volume, about 2 - 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add almond flour and confectioners sugar, mix to combine. Sift the cake flour into the batter and gently fold.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, beat to a soft peak, add granulated sugar, increase the speed to high, continue to beat until stiff peak.
- Fold ⅓ of the whites into almond batter to lighten it, then fold the remaining whites gently. Fold in melted butter, spread the batter evenly into baking pan.
- Bake 10 minutes until golden pale. Cool in a pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edge with spatula. Transfer the cake with its parchment paper to a cutting board.
- To make a three layers cake, here is how cut the cake: first, cut the cake into half crosswise. Second, cut off 3¼ inch wide strip from the bottom of each half so you have a total of 2 roughly 7 inch squares and 2 roughly 3 by 7 inch rectangles. Put the 2 rectangles to make the square middle cake layer.
For Coffee Syrup
1 tsp instant-espresso powder
½ cup + 1 tbs water
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cognac or other brandy
- Dissolve espresso and 1 tbs water. Set aside.
- Bring sugar and remaining water to a boil, stirring until sugar melted, reduce heat and simmer without stirring until it becomes syrupy. remove from the heat, stir in Cognac and espresso mixture.
For Coffee Buttercream
2 tsp instant-espresso powder
¼ cup + 1 tbs water
6 tbs granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes and softened
- Dissolve espresso powder with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
- Bring sugar and remaining ¼ cup water to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolve, then continue to boil without stirring until become syrupy and reach 238⁰F.
- While the syrup is boil, beat the egg yolks at medium speed for 1 minute, add hot syrup in a slow stream, add coffee mixture, continue to beat until cool about 3 - 5 minutes. Beat in butter a piece at a time. Continue to beat until thickened and smooth.
For Chocolate Glaze:
6 tbs unsalted butter
7 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat, cool at room temperature.
- Place 1 sheet of cake on a plate, brush generously with coffee syrup. Spread buttercream evenly. Place the rectangular cakes side by side on top of butter cream, brush with coffee syrup, spread half of the chocolate glaze. Place the last layer of cake, brush with coffee syrup, spread the remaining buttercream evenly. Chill the cake until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Reheat the glaze until warm to the touch about 88⁰F. Pour the glaze over chilled cake and spread evenly. Chill the cake until the glaze is set. Trim the edges with sharp serrated knife .