December 30, 2011

worthy of emperor's taste buds for sure!

Meet the Napoleon Torte !
a traditional New Year's Eve dessert for millions of
people in ex soviet countries, loved by everyone I know to this day.
Time consuming? yes! Delectable ? You'll wanna slap your next door neighbor!
Yes, not grandma, coz she taught me to do it, neighbor, coz it's that good the mere
thought of sharing it with someone will make you wanna slap them! :D

without further ado, here is the beauty :

this recipe is very easy to make, minus the grueling labor when rolling out those tiny tiny layers , mine had 12 this time, and 16 last time i made it.
this amount of dough makes a 20cm / 8 inch diameter cake.
I doubled the recipe to get 16 layers and made the cake 30 cm/12 inch cake.

200 gr margarine (1 cup minus 1 tbsp)
3 cups of flour
1/2 cup cold water
1tbsp vinegar

grate chilled margarine and cut it with the flour.
once the mixture looks like fine crumbs, add water and vinegar, knead the dough gently into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to cool while you're making the cream.

I used pastry cream that's made in 2 steps:

3 cups of milk-- heat on medium heat while mixing following ingredients in a separate bowl:

1c sugar
1c milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp flour

Once the milk has started boiling reduce the heat a little bit and start pouring the egg mixture slowly into the milk,whisking it constantly to avoid forming lumps. When the cream has thickened, cover it with a towel and let it cool (if you're lucky and have minus temperature outside, it won't take long)

Once the cream has cooled completely, add this mixture to it:

300 grams of butter (1cup plus 5 tbsp)
1 cup of sugar
(whip it with the mixer until sugar completely incorporated)

Add one table spoon at a time to the cream, and whip it with the mixer after each addition.

let it stand it the fridge for an hour or so.

Get your dough ball out, cut it into 12 equal parts,shape them into small balls and place them back in the fridge, using one at a time, so they don't start melting on your table,it makes it very hard to roll out.

Dust the work surface with flour and roll the balls as thin as you possibly can. Move onto baking sheet and pierce wholes all through with the fork.

Bake at 240 c (464F)
the layers bake very quickly, so watch out for them getting scorched. If you have an eager set of helping hands, that's the time to employ them.

Cut the layers into the shape you wish, I prefer the cake round, and I use this glorious TRICK, I take a lid off any of my pots and cut the layers with it, the actual layer gets stuck inside the lid and i can move it without breaking it onto the plate that the cake will be served on;) veeeeeery handy ;)

Reserve the leftover cutoffs from the cake layers, they will be turned into crumbs and used to decorate the cake.

Once all of the cake layers are ready, pour the cream on each layer, pressing lightly to 'glue' the layers together. If you like the layers half dry, this is not the cake for you,it's very moist and heavy.

Make sure you have enough cream for the top layer (I reserve it in advance just in case)
Once you have poured the cream on top, cover it with crumbs all over, wrap with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to soak up the cream overnight. I remove the cake the next day and let it sit at room temperature for complete 'soakage' lol ;)

It's time consuming, but very rewarding!
Everyone who tries this cake is smitten with it's delightful aroma and flavor, not to mention the texture of 12 layers of pastry melting in your mouth!


Happy New Year!

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