Schubert's Torte

SCHUBERT’S TORTE

Schubert's Torte
Schubert’s Torte

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun.” Julia Child

Have you ever tried to make a proper, European style layered torte? If you have not, you are not the only one. I often wonder why is it that these wonderfully rich, layered tortes are not so popular worldwide. Traditional European tortes are very rich and elaborate, and usually reserved just for special occasions. Growing up, if there was a torte in the making you know it is either a big birthday party or a holiday, maybe even a wedding. It was still a rare occasion, one that would land a piece of a gorgeous torte on your plate and make it glorious.

Where I come from, tortes are always made with some kind of nuts. Most often that was with walnuts or hazelnuts, and less commonly with almonds. I am thinking one uses the ingredients on hand, easily accessible and walnut trees are everywhere, in fact we had one in our backyard. Large and brooding it would shower the ground with green husks and they would in turn stain your hands while you pry the walnut shell out. Hazelnut trees, much smaller in statue but packing a powerful little nut, are abundant as well. Most of the traditional pastry recipes will almost always include walnuts or hazelnuts and they are so much richer.

The recipe for this torte is an old one, a timeless combination of walnuts, almond and chocolate. No one really knows why is it called Schubert’s Torte but I like to think there is some kind of romantic story behind it. I wanted to make it for a long time and I am not sure what held me back. It is not for a faint hearted I thought, but that never stopped me. It’s almost as if I knew I would fall in love with it so much it will take a precedent over my other ‘rotational’ pastries. And that it did. The wonderful combination of walnuts, almond flour, apricot glaze and chocolate is divine, even for a Balkan style torte. It has a wonderful nutty flavor balanced with a smooth and buttery cream. It is an extraordinary torte and worth of every special occasion. Stay fearless and bake it with me!

SCHUBERT’S TORTE

Recipe by ElmaCourse: Tortes, Tarts and Cakes
Servings

10

servings
Prep Time

1.5

hours
Baking Time

1.5

hours

Ingredients

  • Almond and Chocolate Biscuit
  • One stick of unsalted butter (113 grams) at room temperature

  • 4 large eggs (separated and at room temperature)

  • 6 tablespoons of sugar (divided)

  • 1 cup of lightly packed almond flour

  • 40 gr dark semisweet chocolate, grated (min 70% cocoa)

  • Walnut Biscuit
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)

  • 4 large eggs (separated and at room temperature)

  • 6 tablespoons of sugar, divided

  • 1 cup of ground walnuts (about 80 gr)

  • 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs

  • Pastry Cream
  • 5 egg yolks

  • 6 tablespoons of sugar (divided)

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • one stick of unsalted butter at room temperature (113 gr)

  • Apricot Glaze
  • 3-4 tablespoons of apricot jam or preserves

  • 2 tablespoons of water

  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 60 g dark semisweet chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions

  • Biscuits
  • Butter and line the bottom of 9″ springform baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Start with the almond biscuit – beat together butter and half of the sugar until creamy, and start adding the egg yolks one at the time.
  • Add almond flour and the grated chocolate – the original recipe called for more chocolate but I learned that it makes the biscuit denser so I cut back on it to about 40 gr. Beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 sugar until the shiny peaks form. Using spatula, gently fold the egg whites mixture to the almond mixture making sure not to overdo the mixing which deflates the whites.
  • Spread the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside and let it cool. Once cooled, gently remove the parchment paper.
  • For the walnut biscuit, butter and line the bottom of 9″ springform baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Combine the whole egg, egg yolks and 1/2 of sugar in a medium size mixing bowl. Beat with mixer on high speed until pale yellow and creamy. Add the ground walnuts and bread crumbs; I use the rotary cheese grater to grind my walnuts and hazelnuts, but you can use the food processor. Beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 sugar until the shiny peaks form. Using spatula, gently fold the egg whites mixture to the walnut mixture making sure not to overdo the mixing which deflates the whites.
  • Spread the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside and let it cool. Once cooled, gently remove the parchment paper.
  • Pastry Cream
  • Bring water in a small saucepan to simmer. At low heat and over the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 of the sugar and heavy cream. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens up , about 8-10 minutes. Put it aside and let it cool to room temperature. I use the handheld mixer for this and do not give up, even if the mixture looks a bit too runny, the butter will help the texture.
  • Using a hand held mixer and a medium size mixing bowl, cream the butter with remaining 1/2 of granular sugar, at high speed until very soft and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled off egg yolk mixture and the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and set aside.
  • Apricot Glaze
  • Add apricot jam or preserve and water to a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the glaze is sticky and strain through a wire sieve into a small bowl.
  • Assembly
  • Try to cut each biscuit horizontally into 2 equally thick layers. I found out that the almond biscuit can be very fragile and I usually leave it whole, but if you think you can safely cut it into two layers go for it. Whether you have three or four layers, brush them with the warm apricot glaze. I start with the almond biscuit first – spread 1/2 of the pastry cream on; top with the walnut layer, add the rest of the pastry cream, and top with the remaining walnut biscuit. Torte is ready for the chocolate glaze at this point.
  • In a small saucepan, over high heat, bring sugar, water and chocolate to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and cook stirring constantly until glaze thickens up, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir to cool and thicken lightly, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the warm chocolate over the cake and using a spatula try to add some of it to the sides. Decorate the sides of the cake with the slivered almonds – the chocolate will help them stick.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*