Almond paste covered cake with kirsch-flavored cream and berries.
Marzipan Ruffle Cake
2/3 cup (3 ounces) cake flour
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon kirsch
Sugar syrup - 1/4 cup (2 ounces) granulated sugar heated and dissolved with 1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 pint raspberries or other ripe berries
Powdered sugar for rolling the marzipan
8 ounces Mandelin Classic White Marzipan, at room temperature
See Video demonstration with Florian Bellanger for cake covering and decorating instruction.
Optional: Colored Marzipan for decorating.
Bake the cake:
Preheat oven to 375°. Line the bottom of a 9x3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
Sift the cake flour into a small bowl. Set aside.
Put the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, then place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk by hand until it reaches 140°, about 3 minutes. Return the bowl to the mixer. Put the butter in a medium bowl, and set it over the simmering water to melt while you proceed.
Beat the eggs with a whisk attachment at high speed until they become pale, thick, and almost triple in volume, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift half of the flour over the beaten eggs, and fold it in by hand with a rubber spatula. (This will be the second time the flour is sifted.) Sift and fold in the rest of the flour.
Remove the bowl containing the butter from the water. Stir the almond extract into the butter. Fold about one-fifth of the egg mixture into the butter, then pour the butter-enriched batter into the mixer bowl and fold it in.
Pour the batter into the pan, and bake it on the middle shelf of the oven until the top is lightly browned and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 20 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.
Finish the cake:
Run a table knife around the edge of the cake pan, and turn out the cake onto a work surface. Leave the parchment paper in place. Turn the cake right side up. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half lengthwise, through its equator. Overturn the top half onto a 9-inch cardboard round or serving plate. You will work on this half of the cake first.
Add the kirsch to the sugar syrup. Brush some of the syrup onto the cake on the serving plate.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, adding the tablespoon of sugar halfway through. Put one-quarter of the cream in another bowl, and fold in the berries. Spread this on the cake on the plate.
Overturn the other half of the cake onto the first, and peel off the parchment paper. Brush this half with the remaining sugar syrup. Put the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes so the filling becomes firmer.
Remove the cake from the freezer, and apply a thin layer of the remaining whipped cream to the top and sides, making it as smooth as possible.
Lightly sift some powdered sugar on a work surface. Shape the marzipan into a ball, then roll it onto a disk about 12 inches in diameter. Pick it up and turn it as you work, adding more powdered sugar if needed to keep it from sticking.
Trim the edges for smoothness. Put the marzipan disk on a rimless cookie sheet dusted with powdered sugar. Lift and softly pleat the rim of the almond paste disk, standing the pleats on the cookie sheet (practice with a napkin), until you have a cap of the same diameter as the top of the cake. Tilt the cookie sheet over the cake, and slide the marzipan on top. Dust it with powdered sugar.
Refrigerate the cake until serving.
Serves 8 to 10.
Fran Gage, A Sweet Quartet: Sugar, Almonds, Eggs, and Butter.