This decadent nougat torte is stacked with three layers of moist syrupy sponge cake and three layers of velvety roasted almond and white chocolate mousse for the ultimate satisfaction! Servings: 12 pieces.
for the sponge cake:
4 large eggs (225 g) room temperature or slightly warm
1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (110 g) white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
for the white chocolate mousse:
8.8 oz (250 g) real white chocolate, chopped
3 1/2 cups (850 g) heavy cream, cold
4 oz (120 g) freshly roasted almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (40 g) icing sugar
pinch of salt
for the syrup:
1 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1-2 tbs brandy or cognac (optional)
equipment and decorations:
1 cup roasted almonds, sliced
cherries for decoration (optional)
one 8-inch (20 cm) round pan
Make the syrup: Transfer the water and the sugar to a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, remove from heat, add the alcohol, stir, and let cool.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), grease and flour an 8-inch baking pan and line it with baking paper.
Make the sponge cake: Transfer the eggs, the sugar, the salt, and the vanilla to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on high until the mixture resembles thick shaving foam. Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture folding gently with a spatula.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife through the edges of the pan, invert on a rack and let it cool COMPLETELY.
Make the mousse: In a small pot over medium/low heat, melt the white chocolate with a half cup of the heavy cream, stirring very often. Remove from the heat and let cool. Finely grate the almonds using a food processor and add them to the white chocolate mixture.
With the electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with the icing sugar, vanilla, and the salt until stiff peaks form. Mix about 1 cup of the whipped cream with the white chocolate mixture to lighten it up and then add half of this mixture to the whipped cream and fold gently using a spatula. Add the remaining white chocolate mixture and fold again until combined.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until completely set.
Assemble the cake: Using a layer cake slicer or a long serrated knife, cut the sponge cake into three layers. Brush the first cake layer with 3 - 4 tablespoons of syrup and cover with about 1/3 of the mousse. Top with the second layer of sponge, brush with the syrup and top with the second third of the mousse. Repeat with the third layer of sponge, brush with syrup and top with the remaining mousse.
Pipe on some decorations and sprinkle the top and the sides with the roasted sliced almonds. Garnish with cherries and refrigerate until serving.
WORDS + PHOTOS: Makos Koukakis
Makos Koukakis was born and raised on the island of Crete, Greece. Growing up in a home where food played a major role, he learned to appreciate the value of the Mediterranean diet, considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. He sees cooking as a form of contemporary art. With a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, Makos creates one pan recipes, healthy dishes and some gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian recipes. He uses local, seasonal vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices, and of course olive oil. Two of the things he loves the most are the smell of a yeasty dough while it rises, and the taste of a freshly baked bread. Oh, and chocolate.