For the puff pastry layers, roll out the pasta sfogliata dough on a floured surface into a
Bake the layers at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until they are an even, deep golden color. Change the position of the layers in the oven several times, top to bottom and back to front, to help them bake evenly. Check the layers frequently while they are baking: if they begin to puff excessively, pierce the bubbles in the dough with a fork so that the layers remain flat.
Remove the baked puff pastry layers to a cutting board and cut each layer into a
For the sponge cake, butter a
Sift the flour over the egg foam in 3 or 4 additions, folding it in gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the layer at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, until it is well risen, firm to the touch, and a deep golden color. Remove to a work surface and insert the point of a small knife between the layer and the side of the pan. Loosen the layer from the pan and invert it onto a rack. Leave the paper in place and immediately invert the layer again, onto another rack to cool. Double-wrap in plastic and chill the layer.
For the rum syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cool and stir in the rum.
For the pastry cream filling, place the currants or raisins in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, drain, pour into a bowl, and cover with the rum. Allow to stand at room temperature while preparing the pastry cream. Bring the milk to a boil with half the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the salt and whisk in the remaining sugar. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and whisk it in smoothly. When the milk boils, whisk one-third of it into the yolk mixture. Return the remaining milk to a boil and whisk in the yolk mixture, continuing to whisk until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly to prevent scorching, for 1 minute. Scrape the cream into a clean nonreactive bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
To finish the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and light. Beat in the cooled pastry cream all at once, then continue beating until the filling is smooth and light. Stir in the rum and currants or raisins by hand.
To assemble the torta, place one of the puff pastry disks on a cardboard or platter. Spread with half the pastry cream filling. Moisten the top of the sponge cake layer with half the rum syrup, using a brush. Place the cake layer on the filling, top side down. Moisten the cake layer with the remaining syrup and spread with the remaining filling. Top with the other puff pastry disk. Smooth the sides of the torta with any filling that oozes out and press the puff pastry crumbs onto the sides. Dust the top lightly with the confectioners’ sugar.
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.