We grew up with french pastries and Desserts at home all the time.
My mother had some knowledge of Austrian cakes and cooking and would present us some of her creations every once in a while.
However our food at home was a 90% French.
I had studied Hotel management in college and learned THE Austrian/ Middle European food.
This of course leased my mum a lot.
I would bring home pastries in abundance and show her some of the stuff we had learned.
One of those pastries was the "oh so famous" Esterhazy Torte.
A little history behind the Esterhazy Torte
He was at the service of the Austrian Hungarian Habsburg Emperor in the 19th Century.
The Original Torte has five layers and is filled with a Butter filling.
The "spider web" cover design is known as Esterhazy pattern.
Nowadays, square cake cuts are common as well and I have often tasted different type of fillings (Rum instead of cognac or more cream then butter).
Even the key layer ingredient of hazelnut is often substituted with almonds or walnuts.
This cake, in my opinion, represents the pinnacle of all pastry creations in this world.
I have barely seen coffee houses or pastry heavens selling the Esterhazy torte abroad.
Remember when I had mentioned some months back, that my oven had died while baking a complicated cake?
Well, it was Esterhazy Torte that killed our oven.
I was forced to use the old wood oven to finish this creation!
Ah, that was one trip, I tell you!
I have made this cake a couple of times and I have tested a few recipes.
Some recipes out there from the web and from books are just so wrong!
Seriously, my mother was shocked once, when she saw 1 litter of milk for ½ packet of custard powder.
It would have ended up in a mess, if she hadn't known better
In this recipe I have cut the amount of Butter for the filling
This helps with the filling begin softer and healthier.
I used Rum in it instead of Cognac and the layers were made with Almond flour.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
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For the base layers:
For the Cream filling:
- 750 ml Milk
- 100 g Sugar
- 100 g Custard Powder
- 200 g Butter
- 2 Tbs Dark Rum
- Almond slices
- We start with the base layers. Beat the Egg white and Sugar to a stiff snow.
- Carefully fold in the Almond flour, pinch of Salt and the Vanilla Sugar. It should stay airy!
- Grease the cake form well and add in the egg white Almond flour mixture ½ an inch high. We need 4 base layers! Bake each layer separately at 180 C. for about 10 mins.
- Continue with the cream filling. Keep a pot with ⅔ of the above mentioned milk and sugar on the fire and mix ⅓ of the milk with the custard powder. Once the ⅔ amount of milk is hot, add in the ⅓ custard milk mix and mix well with a whisk. Keep on whisking on medium heat till it thickens well. Take form the heat and keep to cool.
- In a bowl, beat the butter fluffy and add the Rum. slowly pour in the cooled custard and mix it well. Keep the finished cream mixture for some more time to cool in the fridge.
- To assemble the Torte, place the first base layer on a baking sheet and add a ½ inch thick layer of cream on top equally.
- Carefully place an other base layer on top of the custard, following a layer of cream.
- Again the same procedure, add an other base layer and cream on top.
- At last, place the top cover layer.
- In a bowl, combine the Icing sugar and Lemon and mix it smooth for the Icing. Take out 3 Tbs of Icing sugar and mix it separately with the cocoa powder. Keep aside.
- Take the remaining custard cream and, seal the cake borders with it.
- Now pour the white Icing sugar on top of the cake layer cover and equally spread the icing before it gets hard.
- Pour the dark icing sugar into a icing bag and pipe the content from the center to the outer parts in a spiral form. Take a toothpick to hand and pass from the center out 8 lines and another 8 lines from the outer to the center, to create the classic Esterhazy design as shown.
- Add the Almond slices to garnish at the Torte border, where you had added the extra custard before.
- Keep in a cool place before serving!