For my grandma’s birthday last month she made a special request for Esterhazy Torte after we had introduced this little bit of our Austrian heritage to her last year.Esterhazy is a Hungarian cake comprised of several layers of thin meringue sponge with custard cream and apricot jam in between and garnished with almonds. It does take a couple of hours to prepare (and between my brothers and dad only a few minutes to eat) but it is delicious and one of my favourite treats for a special occasion.
The mixture of the crunchy, nutty almond meringue cake with the sweet and creamy custard is the perfect combination and makes for a lovely afternoon tea party addition. Not only does it taste amazing but I think it looked really pretty amongst the floral tea set and fresh flowers.
Ingredients for a 24cm diameter cake:
- 8 egg whites
- 200 g icing sugar (separate into thirds)
- Pinch of powdered cinnamon
- 150 g almond meal
- 40 g plain flour
Custard Cream & Jam Filling
- 300 ml milk
- 150 g sugar (It is quite sweet so if you like it would still taste yummy with a little less sugar)
- pulp from 1 vanilla pod, optional
- 40 g vanilla custard powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 300 g butter
- 80 g apricot jam
- 2-3 Tbsps shaved, roasted almonds, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180 °C;
Whisk the egg white with 2/3 of the icing sugar until half stiff, then add lemon rind, cinnamon and the rest of the sugar;
Keep whisking until stiff peaks form and it becomes glossy. Carefully fold in the almond meal and the sifted flour;
Draw 6 circles about 24 cm of diameter on baking paper;
Divide mixture evenly among the 6 circles and spread thinly and evenly;
In batches, bake each one until light brown in a hot oven with the door partially open for 10-12 minutes. Make sure to loosen the bottom of each cake from the paper with a spatula before allowing to cool;
For the cream filling, beat the butter until creamy;
Heat about 2/3 of the milk with the sugar and vanilla.
Use the rest of the milk to mix with the custard powder and egg yolks; Stir until smooth then combine with the milk mixture and bring to the boil. Continue stirring until custard has thickened. Allow to cool;
Spoon the cooled custard into the creamy butter mixture, and stir until it becomes a smooth butter cream;
Heat the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Spread the cream and jam over five of the cake layers and place them on top of each other, keeping some cream for the end.
Place the last layer on top of the cake and spread the sides of the cake with the rest of the butter cream. Apply the shaved almonds to the sides of the cake.
On the top of the cake use a piping bag and pipe lines of melted chocolate. I just piped a messy pattern on the top but for the typical Esterházy decorative pattern, squeeze out semi circles and quickly take the back of the knife and pull it across perpendicularly from alternate sides.
Allow to stand for a while before cutting and enjoy this delicious treat!