Kirsch Torte

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This elaborate German cake has it all: meringue, sponge cake, butter filling and sweet Kirsch syrup.

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Ingredients

  • Meringue:
  • 1 C. sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 C. ground hazelnuts or toasted almonds
  • Sponge Cake:
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. hot water
  • 3/4 C. sifted confectioner sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Butter Filling:
  • 1 C. butter
  • 2 C. sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C. currant jelly
  • Kirsch Syrup:
  • 1/4 C. Kirsch or cherry brandy
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C. hazelnuts

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 9-1/2-inch round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour an 8-inch round baking pan.

To prepare the meringue, put the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the egg whites to the sugar mixture and beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the ground nuts. Spread half of the meringue evenly in each of the prepared 9 1/2-inch baking pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans, on wire racks, for 5 minutes.

Without removing the waxed paper and using a wide spatula, remove the meringues from the pans. Place the meringues, wax-paper side down, on the wire racks to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

To prepare the sponge cake, put the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually add the hot water and beat well. Gradually ad 1/2 C. of the confectioners sugar and beat for 6 minutes, or until very thick and light colored.

Put the egg whites in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 1/4 C. of the confectioners' sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Then gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently stir until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture in 2 batches. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared 8-1/2-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To prepare the butter filling, put the butter in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well blended. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition for 1 minute. Add the currant jelly and beat until combined. Set aside.

To prepare the kirsch syrup, put the Kirsch, water, and granulated sugar in a small bowl and stir until well-combined. Place the cake on a plate and pierce the top surface repeatedly with a fork. Drizzle the Kirsch syrup over the top. Place 1 layer of the meringue, waxed paper side up, on the cake. Carefully peel off the waxed paper. Spread with 1/4 C. of the butter filling. Top with the remaining meringue layer, waxed paper side up. Carefully peel off the waxed paper. Frost the top and side of the torte with the remaining butter filling. Press the hazelnuts into the side of the cake and Sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar. Mark a criss-cross pattern on the top of the torte. Chill for 3 hours before serving.

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