Hungarian Esterhazy Torte
ESTERHAZY TORTE…What is it? It is a Hungarian cake named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterhazy de Galantha, who was a diplomat of the Austrian Empire and a member of the Esterhazy dynasty. This dessert was invented by the Budapest confectioners in the late 19th century.
Today, it is one of the most popular desserts not only in Hungary but also in Austria. Almost all pastry shops in these two places carry Esterhazy Torte. But you know what? Even if you are in other European countries, North America, Australia, or even Asia, you can make this very delicious cake in your own kitchen.
Looking at it, you might get intimidated because it looks complicated to make. But really, it’s not. And I am telling you right now, it’s worth the effort.
This type of cake is made of 5 thin layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and 4 thin layers of custard buttercream, spiced with kirsch. What’s more? Between the top meringue layer and the glaze is rum-spiced apricot jam. With all that, you can tell how delightful it is. It is also very presentable, especially with that chocolate striped pattern on top of the glaze.
With thin layers of almond and hazelnut meringue filled with kirsch custard buttercream, apricot jam, and sugar glaze, you’d definitely love Hungarian Esterhazy Torte. It looks really appealing, plus it’s super delicious!
Kirsch Custard Buttercream:
5 egg yolks
100g granulated white sugar
200g butter (room temperature)
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
20 ml Kirsch
Almond and Hazelnut Meringue:
75g ground hazelnuts
75g ground almonds
40g all-purpose flour
200g granulated white sugar
8 egg whites
pinch of salt
Glaze and Decoration:
110g apricot jam
22g chocolate (melted)
300g powdered sugar (sifted)
100g almond slices
2 1/2 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
Make the custard:
- Combine the yolks, cornstarch, and 3/8 cup of milk in a bowl.
- Bring 1/2 cup of milk and sugar to a boil until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour the hot mixture into the egg mixture, and then return to the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes or until thick.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic, and chill for an hour.
Make the meringue layers:
- Using a pencil, draw five 9-inch circles on parchment paper.
- Turn the parchment paper upside down and place it on baking sheets.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine flour and nuts. Set aside.
- Using a handheld mixer, whisk egg whites and salt on medium-high until soft peaks form in a large mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and whisk until glossy.
- Fold in dry ingredients carefully.
- Spread batter into the drawn circles.
- Bake each layer for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and remove the paper.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Beat butter on medium-high speed in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually add the custard and stir to combine. Add kirsch and vanilla and stir until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine apricot jam and rum. Stir until smooth and then set aside.
Assembling the cake:
- Place a 9-inch spring pan on a cake stand.
- Place the first meringue layer inside and spread 1/4 of the custard buttercream filling. Repeat steps until you have 5 meringue and 4 buttercream layers.
- Finish with meringue layer on top (smooth side up).
- Evenly spread apricot on top and then chill for half an hour.
- Place the melted chocolate in a bag. Cut off a tiny edge of the bag. Set aside.
- Make the glaze by combining water, corn syrup, and sugar. Stir until smooth. Microwave for a few seconds and immediately pour on top of the chilled cake.
- Pipe a chocolate wheel on top, starting from the center to the edges.
- Alternately run the tip of a toothpick from the center to the edges to the center, about 1 inch apart. You should have about 8 to 9 lines in each direction.
- Cover sides with sliced almonds.
- Put in an airtight container and chill for 4 hours.
- If your glaze seems a little runny, let it stand for a few minutes. But if it seems too thick, microwave a few more seconds.
If you are looking for something European for dessert, then this Hungarian Esterhazy Torte is certainly an excellent choice. It is sweet, nutty, boozy, delicious, and stunning! 🙂