Just a girl in the world...of culinary adventures! I'm beginning culinary academy in the fall, but will be doing a LOT of work before then to get myself ready for this. _____________________
This is a blog of my journey to change my life.
Emperor’s Almond Cake
For the Meringue Layers: 5 tbsp ground almonds 2 tbsp cornstarch 1.5 cups sugar 6 egg whites
For the Praline Topping: 6 oz almonds 3/4 sugar
For the Caramel Cream: 5 tbsp sugar 9 tbsp water 6 egg yolks 1.5 cups unsalted butter, softened
Start with the meringue layers. Preheat over to 250-deg. Fold together the ground almonds, cornstarch, and all but 6 tbsp of the sugar, then set aside.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add the remaining sugar and continue beating until the meringue is glossy and holds their peaks. Then fold in the almond mixture.
Line three shallow, round, 8” baking pans with parchment paper. Spread the meringue mixture inside (try using a spatula dipping in boiling water to prevent sticking). Bake until crisp and dry: about 40-45 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the praline: Over gentle heat, combine the sugar and nuts in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Stop stirring, but continue to cook until the sugar is caramelized to a deep golden brown and the nuts pop a little to show they are roasted. It should register 340-deg on a candy thermometer.
Spread the praline mixture on an oiled sheet pan and allow to cool.
Once cool, sandwich the praline between two layers of plastic wrap and crush it with a rolling pin or break it up into bite-sized pieces a food processor.
Last, make the caramel cream: in a small saucepan, heat the sugar with the water until dissolved, then boil steadily (without stirring) until the syrup reaches 240-deg on the candy thermometer.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and gradually add the hot syrup , beating constantly until the mixture cools to room temperature.
In another bowl, beat the softened butter to a cream and then fold it into the custard. Fold in half the praline and then put the custard aside until it has cooled and solidified.
Assemble the cake: start with a layer of meringue and spread a quarter of the caramel cream on top, then top with another meringue layer, then repeat. Slather the top and sides with the remaining caramel cream and finish with topping the cake with the remaining praline.
Store in a cool place for a full 24 hours to let the flavors marry or freeze overnight (cake only takes 2 hours to defrost).