POSTRE DEL VIRREINATO

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POSTRE DEL VIRREINATO
Viceroy’s Cake

FOR THE BATTER
12 eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
4½ ounces potato starch or cornstarch, sifted twice
4½ ounces (generous 1 cup) flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder

FOR THE CUSTARD
1 cup water
3½ cups sugar
16 egg yolks
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ cup sweet sherry, or to taste

FOR THE FILLING
1½ cups chopped figs
1½ cups chopped orange
½ cup chopped candied citron
⅓ cup chopped lime
1 cup dry sherry

FOR THE FROSTING
4 egg whites
2½ cups heavy cream, chilled in freezer for 1 hour
1 cup powdered sugar

FOR THE GARNISH
½ cup sweet sherry, approximately
3 figs, sliced in strips
1 orange, sliced in strips
2 limes, sliced in strips
12 almonds, toasted
¼ cup pink or blond pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Prepare the batter: Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating until very thick and sugar is completely dissolved. Combine potato starch or corn starch, flour, and baking powder. Gradually add to egg yolk mixture. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in large bowl until stiff. Carefully fold into egg yolk mixture. Fill cake pans equally with batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Cool for 10 minutes in pans. Invert onto cake racks to cool.

Prepare the custard: Heat water and sugar in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring until syrup forms a hard ball (260° F on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Beat egg yolks in a bowl until creamy, and slowly add syrup, beating until mixture thickens a little. Add cinnamon. In a double boiler, cook custard over simmering water, stirring constantly, for 20 to 30 minutes, until thick and creamy. Remove from heat, and stir in sherry. Cool. Refrigerate for several hours.

Prepare the filling: Put figs, orange, citron, and lime in a glass bowl, and macerate in sherry for 1 hour.

Prepare the frosting: Beat egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat chilled heavy cream until it thickens. Add sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Carefully fold whipped cream into egg whites, and refrigerate until serving time.

To assemble cake: Place a layer of cake on a buttered cake plate, and sprinkle with about ¼ cup sherry. Cover with a layer of custard. Layer macerated fruit over the custard. Top with a second cake layer. Sprinkle with sherry. Repeat custard and fruit layers. Frost top and sides with frosting, and garnish with figs, oranges, limes, almonds, and pine nuts.

Refrigerate cake for 2 hours before serving.

SERVES 8 TO 12

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