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Dreamy Russian Cream Torte! This cake has nothing to do with the Russians; it was invented by a Hungarian pastry chef who worked at the Orosz Kávéház [Russian Coffee House] in Budapest. That was the name of the coffee house and it had nothing to do with Russian cuisine or with Russian pastry. Indeed, Russian Cream Torte is a real Hungarian confection. This version is from Rákóczi János master chef’s book that was titled “Konyhaművészet”.

This cake is often decorated with cream rosettes and such, but I kept mine quite rustic. Any additional cream or icing and it would have been too much cream in my opinion. The flavour relies heavily on rum, but it is possible to make it alcohol free if you omit the rum soak and substitute it with rum extract flavoured sugar syrup. The first task is to soak the raisins in rum. Then come the cakes and while the cakes bake make the cream filling. The raisins are a must. The rest of the candied fruits and peel are left to the imagination. I used a cup of homemade candied citrus peel, about a 1/4 cup of homemade rum cherries, and about a cup of Hawaiian candied fruit mix [I got that from the Superstore] But you can use any kind of candied fruit as long as its candied and not the type that is swimming in heavy sugar syrup. Those are OK in a fruitcake but are not good for much else. A lot of recipes, including Rakóczi’s, call for a five egg piskóta, but it’s virtually impossible to cut a five egg piskóta into four layers. So I used 8 eggs, divided the batter between two spring form cake pans and then cut both cakes into two layers. This gave me 4 good cake layers to work with.

8 egg yolks
8 Tbsp sugar
8 heaping Tbsp cake and pastry cake flour
8 egg whites
rind of 1 lemon

Rum Soak
4/5 of a cup but it is probably easier to just use a measuring cup that shows ml on the side and measure to 200ml.

2/3 cup golden raisins
1 cup of candied citrus peel
1 cup of candied fruit

Cream Filling
1-1/3 cup half and half or whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. Knox gelatine
1-2/3 cups whipping cream

• Soak the raisins in rum.
• Dice the candied fruit and set aside.
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Line the bottom of two spring form cake pans with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks for 4 minutes.
• In a separate bowl whisk together the zest and the cake flour.
• Gradually beat the flour mixture into the yolk mix.
• Wash the beaters and beat the egg whites until very stiff peaks form.
• Gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the beaten egg yolks.
• Divide the batter between two spring form round cake pans .
• Bake at 350F until the middle springs back.
• Meanwhile start making the cream filling.
• Place the 5 egg yolks and 1-1-3 cup of half and half in a mid sized pot.
• Cut half of a vanilla bean open. With a sharp knife scrape out the beans and add to the pot. Add the bean too.
• Add 1 cup sugar and continuously stirring bring to the boil, but just.
• Remove custard from heat.
• Dissolve the gelatine in 1/4 cup of cold water, and immediately add to the custard.
• Let custard cool down to room temperature.
• When the cakes are done remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
• Run a blunt knife around the edge of each cake and release the spring mechanisms.
• Peel of the parchment papers and place cakes on a level surface.
• Cut both cakes into two layers and set aside.
• Wash and dry one of the spring form cake pans and set aside.
• When the custard cooled to room temperature prepare the whipping cream.
• In a clean bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
• Fold whipped cream into the custard.
• Strain the rum off the raisins.
• Take the clean spring form cake pan and begin layering the cake.
• Place one cake layer in the pan.
• Sprinkle the top with 1/4 of the rum that was strained off from soaking the raisins.
• Spread about 1/4 of the cream on the top.
• Dot the top with 1/4 cup of the candied peel and 1/4 cup of the candied fruit.
• Cover with the next layer of cake, spread with filling and dot with the fruit peel and candied fruit.
• Continue until all the cake layers, cream filling and fruit filling is gone.
• Cover and place in the fridge for a night.
• Next day remove cake from spring form cake pan.
• Smooth out the filling that spilled out to the sides, place cake on a platter and serve.



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