This cake is one of the most ambitious baking projects I’ve completed yet, but it was oh-so worth it. I have a confession – I don’t tend to enjoy cake usually, but this might have changed my mind. The combination of marzipan, white chocolate pastry cream, sponge cake, and raspberry jam is to die for, and when this decadent cake is gone, you’ll find yourself aching for more. It is important to remember that this cake is an all day operation, unless you spread the steps out over a few days.
I used a variety of recipes from other food blogs and you might have some leftover pastry cream at the end, but don’t worry because it is extremely delicious.
You can choose to make the marzipan and soaking syrup several days in advance. The pastry cream and genoise could made the day before cake assembly as well. I will post the separate components’ recipes first, then end with a description of how to assemble it.
- Fine dry bread crumbs for the pan
- 1/2 cup sifted unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch flour – substitute same amount of cornstarch if the former is not available
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Dust the inside of the pan with the breadcrumbs and tap out the excess. This is very traditional of Eastern European cakes to line the pan with a coating of fine crumbs. In the older days, it replaced parchment paper, soaked up extra moisture. It also forms a tight crumbs on the outside which makes it easier when you frost the cake after baking. Sift together the flour, potato starch, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until the whites are shiny and form stiff peaks but are still smooth, not lumpy. Sprinkle in about one-quarter of the sugar, then add 1 egg yolk and beat for about 10 seconds. Repeat the process 3 more times. Beat a couple more minutes, until the mixture forms a ribbon. Gently fold in the flour mixture in 4 additions, taking your spatula from the bottom of the bowl, up the side and over the batter. Pour the batter into the pan, and set it on baking sheet. Rap the sheet a couple of times on the counter top to smooth the top of you cake.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to release it from the pan, if necessary. Release the cake from the spring form pan, cover the cake with a plate or another wire rack and invert. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper. Cover the cake with another wire rack and invert again. Wrap in saran wrap and then aluminum foil and place in the fridge for several hours before cutting it in 3 layers.
White Chocolate Pastry Cream
Recipe from Cupcakes to Caviar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise or one teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 10 to 12 ounce bag white chocolate pieces (I used Ghirardellis)
Place the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the flour and the salt, mix to combine. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure to reach all of the corners of the pan when you stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick. Remove from heat and add the butter and white chocolate. Stir until the white chocolate melts. This can take a few minutes. Strain if you wish for a smoother cream. Place into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming on the cream. Chill and use within a few days.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp almond liqueur
Place water and sugar in saucepan on medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and begins boiling. Cool and stir in the liqueur.
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream.
- optional – powdered sugar
Whip until it forms peaks. Cover and place in fridge.
I made the marzipan myself, although I suggest using store bought marzipan so it is easier to work with, smoother, and more professional-looking. Add green food coloring and knead the marzipan until it adopts the color you desire.
Have the genoise cake prepared, as well as the soaking syrup, whipped cream, and pastry cream. Make sure to have raspberry preserves on hand. I used La Fuji Mama’s incredibly helpful step-by-step photos for inspiration on how to build the cake. You use a large bowl (lined with saran wrap), and place the layers in from top to bottom. Place first layer of cake in strips into the bowl, then brush with the soaking syrup. Spread the raspberry preserves on top of the first layer of cake. Use 2/3 of the whipped cream and fill the cake bowl with it. With your second genoise layer, drizzle soaking syrup over it and then top with raspberry preserves. Place it preserve-side down on the whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Meanwhile, fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream. Take the cake out of the fridge and spread the pastry cream on top. Place the last cake layer on top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the marzipan. Once you’ve made the marzipan,wrap it up and let it sit until the cake has been in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This next part needs to be done very efficiently so the marzipan doesn’t dry out. First, roll out the marzipan into a circle. Place a board on top of the cake bowl and flip it over, peeling the plastic wrap off of the cake. Use the remaining whipped cream to frost the outside of the cake then carefully (very carefully) place the marzipan over the cake. I broke the marzipan so I ended up making shapes all over the cake to cover it up. Once assembled, place in the fridge until ready to eat. Congrats, you’re about to eat the most delicious cake you have ever tasted.