Orange Torte with Orange Cream Frosting

Orangentorte

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    10

    servings

Appears in

Orangentore dates back to the Congress of Vienna of 1815, when the desserts of the various diplomats found their way into the hearts and stomachs of the Viennese. A specialty of Dalmatia, a province along the Adriatic coast, it is made with bread crumbs, not flour. This lack of flour (and baking powder) results in a dense, moist torte that may look a little forlorn compared to other high-rising cakes. Don’t be concerned, because the delicious frosting of orange curd and whipped cream disguises any visual flaws. Refreshing and full of citrus flavor, this torte deserves every second of its long-lived popularity.

Ingredients

Torte

  • cup plain dried bread crumbs, plus more for the pan
  • 1 ⅔ cups sliced blanched almonds
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • Grated zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

Orange Icing

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Assembly

  • Two seedless navel oranges, for garnish

Method

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper. Dust with the bread crumbs, tilt to coat, and tap out the excess crumbs.
  2. To make the torte: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cup of bread crumbs and the almonds until the almonds are very finely ground, almost to a powder. Set aside.
  3. Beat the yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed Until they are very thick and light in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and juice.
  4. Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining ½ cup of sugar and beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Fold about one fourth of the beaten whites into the yolk mixture. Add the almond-crumb mixture and fold a few times, just to moisten. Add the remaining whites and fold until the batter is combined. Spread evenly in the pan.
  5. Bake until the top springs back when gently pressed in the center, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to release the cake, then remove the sides of the pan. Invert onto the rack and lift off the bottom of the pan. Peel off the paper and turn the cake right side up. Cool the cake completely on the rack.
  6. To make the icing: Whisk the sugar, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, butter, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Strain through a wire sieve into a medium bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the curd has cooled and thickened.
  7. In a chilled medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until quite stiff (it will soften with the addition of the curd, so beat it a little more stiffly than usual). Fold in half of the chilled curd.
  8. To assemble: Using a long serrated knife, cut the torte into two layers. Slip the bottom of the springform pan between the layers. Invert the top layer onto 8½-inch cardboard round. Spread with the remaining orange curd. Top with the other layer (a wide spatula helps the transfer), cut side down. Frost the top of the torte with the icing, then frost the sides. Chill, uncovered, until the icing sets, about 1 hour. Cover loosely with a cake dome and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Cut the thick skin off each orange where it meets the flesh. Cut between the membranes to release the segments. Arrange the segments around the edge of the torte in a spoke pattern, and serve chilled.

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