Impress your guests with a show-stopping layer cake stuffed with a luscious custard filling and topped with meringue frosting. Landon Nordeman
SHARE

From Vienna’s legendary confectionery shop Demel, this showstopping layer cake has a creamy custard filling and a meringue frosting. This recipe, along with a tep-by-step illustrated guide, appeared in Vienna’s Sweet Empire by Nick Malgieri (March 2009).

Russian Punch Cake Russian Punch Cake (Russische Punschtorte)
From Vienna's legendary confectionery shop Demel, this showstopping layer cake has a creamy custard filling and a meringue frosting.
Yield: serves 16

For the Cake

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, 4 tbsp. melted
  • 1 12 cups flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • 12 cup dark rum

For the Filling, Frosting, and Garnish

  • 1 (1/4-oz.) packet powdered gelatin
  • 4 whole eggs, separated, plus 4 egg yolks
  • 2 12 cups sugar
  • 13 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 34 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 12 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 12 tsp cream of tartar
  • 16 candied violets
  • 1 tbsp. shelled and unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 325°. Line bottom of 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. Grease pan with 1 tbsp. butter. Add 1⁄4 cup flour; shake to evenly coat inside of mold. Invert and tap out excess flour; set pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and 1⁄4 cup sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and airy, 4–5 minutes; set yolk mixture aside. In a large nonreactive bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until frothy. Sprinkle in remaining sugar; beat to form stiff, glossy peaks. Beat one-fourth of the egg whites into yolk mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites. Fold in melted butter, remaining flour, and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack; let cool completely.
  3. Make the filling: Combine gelatin and 1⁄4 cup cold water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large metal bowl, whisk together 8 egg yolks, 12 cup sugar, and 13 cup cornstarch; set aside. In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring milk, cream, and reserved vanilla seeds to a boil. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle milk mixture into yolk mixture. Place bowl over a 2-qt. saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, 4–5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in gelatin mixture; let cool to room temperature. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
  4. Invert cooled cake onto work surface and slice into 3 horizontal layers (see How-To: Cutting Cake Layers). Place the bottom cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Using a pastry brush, brush cake with one-third of the rum. Using a butter knife, spread half of the filling over cake. Top with second cake layer, brush with one-third of the rum, and spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer and brush with remaining rum; set cake aside.
  5. Make the meringue frosting: Heat 2 cups sugar and 1⁄2 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat to make a syrup. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted in the syrup reaches 240°. Meanwhile, in bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, beat confectioners’ sugar, 1 12 tsp. cornstarch, cream of tartar, and 4 egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form, about 1 minute. While continuing to whisk, add the hot sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream to the egg whites. On high speed, beat until doubled in volume to make a thick and smooth frosting, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using a butter knife, spread 1 1⁄2 cups of the frosting evenly over top and sides of cake in a 1⁄4″-thick layer. Transfer remaining frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄4″-diameter tip. Pipe top and sides decoratively with frosting. (Alternatively, spread remaining frosting over cake in swirls.) To lightly brown frosting (an optional step), light a small culinary butane torch. Hold torch 4″ from cake and lightly caramelize frosting. Decorate with candied violets and sprinkle with pistachios.

MORE TO READ