This Pave d’Amour or Cake of Love is truly a celebration cake made for all the highlights of life. It is one of those recipes that looks daunting but actually isn’t. It just requires a schedule and can be done over a number of days or even weeks as desired. While not as fast as some cakes, its complexity is what makes it so special. Since May and June are such celebration months, I’m reintroducing this cake as one of my all time favorites because I think everyone should know about it. Continue reading
Many years ago when I first became interested in pastry and baking, I found a book at the library introducing me to Viennese Tortes and pastries. I was fascinated by them to the point I copied the entire book for my personal use. This was ages before the internet and the book was no longer on the market. A version of this Viennese Walnut and Chocolate Sponge Cake was in the book.
As with some early Viennese Tortes, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs finely ground would be used in place of flour. Another rendering of this cake was in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”. It did use cracker crumbs. However, for this version I wanted to use a sponge which would accept a brandy soaking syrup. The original recipe for the cake in my book used only the cake and a coffee buttercream. I expanded upon that idea for this cake.
The recipe for the Viennese Walnut and Chocolate sponge cake is based on Bo Friberg’s Hazelnut-Chocolate Sponge in his book, “Professional Pastry Chef”. This is one of my go to books if I am stumped by something. The sheer volume of information in charts and graphs is astounding. There have been several updates to the book. I have Volume 4 which is over 1,000 pages. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require beating the egg yolks and whites separately. It uses whole eggs that are warmed over a double boiler so they can reach maximum volume. It is easy and as far as I can see, foolproof as long as you fold the dry ingredients quickly and gently. Continue reading
A variation of this magnificently layered Tuile Torte appeared in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”. It is actually easy to make but it is time consuming. The fact that most of it can be done ahead makes it very possible. Fourteen layers of tuile and 13 layers of mousse are a show stopper any way you look at it. There is another view of a slice of the torte in the slide show above on my banner.
A series of tulle layers made on the bottom of an upside down 9″ round cake pan is the time consuming part. How fast it goes depends upon how many pans you have and how fast you can spread the batter.
When I first went into business, there was one caterer who loved this so much, he served it at every upscale party they had. When I had to make 20 of them, I pulled this from the list of available desserts. I heard about it to the day I closed. But 280 layers isn’t fast no matter how many pans you have or how fast you are. Continue reading
This Spirited Marble Cake is one of my favorite cakes that dates back to my boys childhood, some forty years ago. I’ve updated the cake to eliminate the need to beat the egg whites separately and fold them in. Marble cakes for some reason have gone by the wayside in recent years, but I love the way they look and the bite of chocolate and white cake together.
This is considered to be two step cake and I love the ease of putting it together. I remember the creme de cocoa being a rather racy ingredient at the time. Continue reading
This Lamington Torte is an adaptation of Australia’s much loved snack, Lamington Squares. Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. The sponge can also be split and filled with whipped cream or jam.
However, in researching this treat, I found that here in the states the cake usually runs to a butter cake. The recipes did stay true to the original powdered sugar icing.
I liked the idea, but I am not a fan of sponge cake except in a few instances where nothing else will do. My Lamington Torte consists of four layers of yellow butter cake, raspberry jam filling and a rich chocolate ganache rather than the powdered sugar based icing.
I also use sweetened coconut that is toasted then flattened with a rolling pin so it lies flatter than regular coconut. Toasting coconut is one of those things in baking where you need to be around, as it has to be stirred every few minutes to achieve a luscious deep golden brown. Unless, of course, you go to have lunch in the den with your husband and leave the timer in the kitchen. When you do that this is what your coconut will look like. Continue reading