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  Added: Apr 11, 2006  •  Visited (895)  •  Print version Print this recipe (82)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe (2)  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
 
Cherry-Brandy Cake
(Zuger Kirschtorte)
What You Need:
MERINGUE
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ground hazelnuts, pulverized with a nut grinder or in a blender

    GENOISE CAKE
  • 2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch bits
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour

    BUTTER CREAM
  • ½ cup milk
  • A 2-inch piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon imported kirsch
  • 4 to 5 drops red vegetable food coloring

    SYRUP
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons imported kirsch
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts, pulverized with a nut grinder or in a blender
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar

  • How To Cook:
    1. To make the meringues:Preheat the oven to 250°F. With a pastry brush, spread the softened butter on two large baking sheets. Sprinkle the sheets with the 2 tablespoons of flour, tipping the sheets from side to side to spread it evenly.

    2. Then turn the sheets over and rap them sharply to remove the excess flour. Center an inverted 9-inch plate or layer-cake pan on the sheets one at a time and, with the tip of a knife or your finger, draw a 9-inch circle using the pan as a guide. Set the circled sheets aside.

    3. In a deep unlined copper bowl (glass or stainless steel will do, but do not use aluminum), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with a wire whisk or a rotary or electric beater for about a minute, or until they thicken slightly.

    4. Beating constantly, add 1 cup of the sugar a few tablespoons at a time and beat for at least 5 minutes. The meringue when finished should be stiff, glossy and stand in firm peaks. Add 1 cup of the ground nuts and with a rubber spatula fold them in gently but thoroughly.

    5. With the spatula, smooth the meringue inside the two 9-inch circles on the baking sheets-dividing it between them to make layers about ¼ inch thick. Bake for 45 minutes in the middle of the oven, until the layers are firm and dry to the touch.

    6. Lower the oven heat if they begin to brown at any point. Remove the pans from the oven and run a long metal spatula under the bottom of the meringues to loosen them. Let them cool on the baking sheets.

    1. To make the Genoise cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a pastry brush, spread the 2 teaspoons of softened butter evenly over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan 1½ inches deep.

    2. Sprinkle the tablespoon of flour into the pan, tip it from side to side to spread the flour evenly, then invert the pan and rap it sharply on a table to remove any excess flour. Set the pan aside.

    3. Clarify the 8 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan by melting it slowly over low heat without letting the butter brown. Let it rest off the heat for a minute, then skim off the foam. Spoon the clear butter into a bowl and discard the milky solids at the bottom of the pan.

    4. In an electric mixer, beat the eggs, ½ cup sugar and vanilla together at high speed for at least 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and fluffy and has almost tripled in volume.

    5. A little at a time, sift the ½ cup of flour over the eggs, folding it in gently with a rubber spatula. Finally, add the clarified butter 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to fold until all traces of the butter disappear.

    6. Do not overfold or the cake will be heavy instead of airy and light. Gently pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading it and smoothing the top with the spatula.

    7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake puffs above the rim of the pan, shrinks slightly away from the sides and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.

    8. To make the butter cream: In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, heat the milk and the vanilla bean (if you are using it) over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 or 15 minutes.

    9. Combine the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in a deep bowl and beat with a wire whisk or a rotary or electric beater for at least 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to fall in a slowly dissolving ribbon from the beater when it is lifted from the pan. Discard the vanilla bean and, beating constantly, slowly pour the milk into the egg yolks.

    10. Return the mixture to the saucepan and, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook over low heat until the eggs are thick enough to coat the spoon heavily. Do not let the mixture (now a custard) come near a boil or it will curdle.

    11. Immediately place the pan in a large bowl or pot filled with crushed ice or ice cubes and water, and continue to stir until the custard has cooled to room temperature.

    12. Stir in the vanilla extract (if you are using it), then beat in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until the butter is completely absorbed. Then beat in 1 tablespoon of kirsch and slowly add enough of the red food coloring to the butter cream to tint it a pale pink.

    13. Cover the pan with wax paper and refrigerate the butter cream (there should be about 1 cup) for about 30 minutes, or until it has become firm enough to spread.

    14. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup of sugar and the water to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

    15. Raise the heat to high and cook briskly, uncovered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes, or until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220 on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat.

    16. With a long serrated knife, cut the cooled spongecake in half horizontally. Stir 2 teaspoons of kirsch into the syrup and dribble it as evenly as possible over the cut side of each cake half. To assemble the cake: Place one meringue on a serving plate and, with a metal spatula, spread 2 tablespoons of the butter cream evenly over it.

    17. Top with a layer of the cake (moistened side up) and spread it with another 2 tablespoons of butter cream. Add the second cake layer, cover it with 2 tablespoons of butter cream, and then set the second meringue in place on top of the cake.

    18. Smooth the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter cream over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the ½ cup of hazelnuts on the sides of the cake, patting them gently in place. Refrigerate the torte for 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, sift the confectioners' sugar over the top.

     
    Serving Size: one 9-inch cake
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Europe » Switzerland
    Main Ingredient » Fruits » Cherry
    Main Ingredient » Nuts » Hazelnut
    Main Ingredient » Dairy » Butter
    Dish » Cake & Muffins

     





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