Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cakes of the World - Napolyeon Tort

This cake is the national dessert of Russia. It's made up of 16 layers of crispy pastry filled with a homemade custard. When I looked at the recipe the day I made this cake I wondered what on earth I'd been thinking. Past Emma really pulled a fast one on Present Emma who wasn't keen on making such a complicated looking cake!

Ingredients:

For the pastry:
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2  egg whites
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 4 tablespoons butter
For the custard:
  • 6 cups milk
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 tablespoons butter 

To make the pastry, mix together the butter and sugar until creamy.


Whisk the egg whites until stiff.


Fold the egg whites into the butter mix along with the salt and sour cream.


Add the flour a tablespoon at a time and mix well to combine. You should end up with a soft pliable dough. I did after adding another cup of flour. Wrap this dough in clingfilm and chill for an hour (longer if possible).


Preheat your oven to 190C and line two baking sheets with paper. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll out each one to a circle roughly 8 inches in diameter. I did mine slighly smaller than that so I could fit 2 per baking tray. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy on the edges. Keep going until you have a stack of 16 pastry circles.


Now to make the custard. Pour the milk into a big pan and warm through.


Beat together the egg yolks with the egg white and sugar.


Stir in the flour.


It makes quite a thick mixture. Pour this mixture into the warm milk and stir constantly until it's well combined.


Add the vanilla and butter, continue stirring over a low heat until thick and creamy. The custard smells fantastic at this point.

My custard did not thicken at all. The recipe tells you to let it thicken on a low heat but mine only got thicker by letting it heat up and almost boil.


Let the custard cool so you can assemble the cake. Place a pastry disc on a plate and add a layer of custard. Keep going until you've used all the pastry up finishing with pastry on top. Put in the fridge for about 4-5 hours. (long time to wait for cake!)

I really didn't know what to expect from this cake. Mine didn't really look like others I'd seen online. I felt like it'd be impossible to slice even. But when it came out of the fridge it was all soft. The custard had soaked into the pastry making it easy to slice. The custard had a lovely caramelised flavour and the very edges of the pastry were still crispy. It's like nothing I've tasted before but I can tell you it was delicious!


The recipe I used called it time-consuming but worth it. I have to agree!