This festive torte is a delicious alternative to fruit cake. If you like marzipan as much as I do and are a fan of Nutella then this is the cake for you. It is fairly easy to make but you do have to allow plenty of time for chilling.
For the Sponge
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 165g caster sugar
- 80g plain flour
- 30g corn flour
- 40g ground almonds
- 40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling
- 500ml whole milk
- Pinch of salt
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- A few drops of almond essence
- 40g cornflour
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 100g ground almonds
- 200g butter, at room temperature
- 200g chocolate-hazelnut spread
To Finish and Decorate
- 3 tbsp Amaretto
- 1 gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
- 200ml double cream
- 100 chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 100g white marzipan
- 30g cold white chocolate
- Some edible glitter (optional)
- Grease and line a 23cm spring form with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
- For the sponge, beat the egg yolks with 120g of the sugar until pale and thick.
- Sift together the flour, corn flour and almonds.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until beginning to thicken then slowly add the remaining 45g of caster sugar and continue beating until thick.
- Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Add the remaining egg whites and then the flour mixture on top. Gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined, then fold in the butter.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- Once cooled cut the cake horizontally into three even slices.
- To make the almond buttercream filling, mix 3 tbsp of the milk with the corn flour, then stir in the egg yolk.
- In a saucepan, bring the remaining milk, salt, sugar, vanilla and almond essence to a simmer.
- Stir in the corn flour mixture. Keep stirring, add the almonds and bring the mixture briefly to a boil.
- Set the mixture aside to cool completely, stirring every now and again to prevent a skin from forming.
- Beat the butter until fluffy and pale.
- Beat in the almond cream a tablespoon at a time until combined.
- To assemble the cake, place the first sponge layer onto a serving plate.
- Brush with a tbsp. of the Amaretto and spread with 100g of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.
- Enclose the cake with a cake ring and spread with half the almond buttercream.
- Repeat with the second sponge cake, Amaretto, chocolate-hazelnut spread and almond buttercream.
- Brush the third sponge with Amaretto and place over top of the almond buttercream.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but better overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
- Remove the cake ring from the cake.
- To decorate, dissolve the squeezed out gelatin in a tablespoon of hot water and leave to cool.
- Beat the double cream until beginning to thicken then slowly beat in the gelatin in a steady stream.
- Continue beating the cream until thick and creamy then beat in the chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Beat until the mixture is stiff but still spreadable.
- Use the cream to cover the top and sides of the cake.
- Using a potato peeler, shave of the white chocolate sprinkles to cover the top of the cake.
- Roll out the marzipan between sheets of cling film or dust your worktop with a little corn flour.
- Cut out the tree shapes, stars and snowflakes and use to decorate the sides and top of the cake.
You could use a little edible glitter on the marzipan shapes if liked.
I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.