Vasa torte


This is a traditional Serbian torte - a festive cake that is served in a variety of special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, Christmas and New Year.
It is an exceptional cake, probably my favourite of all cakes, it is very moist, tasty, fragrant and it keeps for up to a week in a fridge.

NOTE: in this recipe a tablespoon refers to the actual serving spoon (the one you eat soup with) not the correct English or American measure
NOTE 2: This recipe has been added to Bake Fest via Palachinka Blog


For the sponge
6 eggs
6  tablespoons of ground walnuts
1 tablespoon plain flour
6 tablespoons sugar

For the creme
200g ground walnuts
4 egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
150 ml milk
rind and juice of one orange
2 rows dark chocolate
125 g butter

For the icing
4 egg whites
4 small (traditionally used in Serbia to drink turkish coffee, approximately 1/2 of porcelain tea cup) cups of sugar
1.5 (same size as previously) cups water

To make the sponge, separate the eggs and mix the yolks with the sugar using the electric mixer. Add the flour, walnuts and egg whites that you previously beat until they formed soft but stiff peaks.
Fold everything and pour into a round cake mould that you first oiled and dusted with flour and then covered the bottom with baking paper.
Bake on 180 C for 40 minutes.
When done (pierce with a toothpick, if nothing clings to it the cake is cooked) leave to completely cool before you carefully take it out.

To make the creme, add one tablespoon of sugar to the milk, warm it up and to it add the walnuts. Leave to cool.
Mix the egg yolks with sugar using the electric beater. Once combined, stir over steam (I boil up some water in a larger pot and than I place the saucepan with egg yolks into it and continue stirring, it's actually really simple to do and it makes sure the creme cooks without burning on the bottom) until it cooks through and thickens up.
Somewhere along the line (I do it within first 5 minutes) add the chocolate, orange zest and orange juice.
Once cooked and thick, leave it to cool. When it's cooler than room temperature, separately mix the butter with electric mixer until creamy, and add it to the creme. Mix well until it forms creamy, spreadable homogenous mass.
Spread it over the sponge you prepared earlier.

To make the icing, beat the egg whites until stiff. Melt the sugar in water over medium heat and let it cook (without stirring) until it bubbles up and reduces such that when you dip the spoon in it and lift it out, a continuous and uninterrupted stream is visible. This is not cooking it to a very thick syrup but some reduction is required, usually by about 1/3 (it takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes of cooking).
Add the hot syrup to the egg whites and mix with the electric mixer until well combined and then immediately return the mixture to the stove and whisk continuously until the mass is shiny, hot and thickened (usually takes further 5 min).
Take it off the heat and continue whisking until it cools down to room temperature (usually takes another 5 minutes). Leave it to cool a bit more before you use it to decorate the cake.
You can substitute this with just some whipped cream, but I strongly recommend you make this traditional version. It sounds harder than it actually is (it only takes about 15 - 20 minutes all up), and the taste is well worth it.

Decorate the cake all over with the icing and leave the torte in the fridge for at least couple of hours (overnight is even better, but in all honesty, it can be served straight away, but if you leave it, it will make perfect slices later).


Bon appétit!

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