Fancy enough for a wedding, this cake is a showstopping finale to any meal.
This is a two-layer version of the wedding cake restaurateur and cookbook author Pia Wiesen made from an old family recipe for her daughter Laura Wiesen and son-in-law Xel Campbell.
It is a family recipe handed down from Laura’s great-grandmother, who cooked for the prime minister of Luxembourg in her day. The three-tier torte was topped with a decadent French buttercream flavoured with espresso.
Pia used fancy organic whey butter for the buttercream frosting, which should have made for a beautiful, silky consistency. Unfortunately no one got to taste that batch because it curdled in the fridge overnight! The lesson: If you’re going the DIY route, be ready for last-minute curveballs at 6 a.m. on the wedding day.
“I took a deep breath, had a coffee, put on my boots and fed my horses. Then I drove to the 24-hour Foodland in Caledon East for regular butter,” she says, mimicking the pick-yourself-up moment. Crisis averted.
- Butter and flour to grease the pan
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
For the buttercream
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 shot glass of espresso
- 4 cups unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour an 8" springform cake pan.
- Beat the 6 egg yolks with the sugar. When creamy white, slowly add the flour and keep beating.
- Beat the 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form, then slowly fold them into the egg/flour mixture.
- Pour into the cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes
- out clean. Set aside and let cool.
- For the buttercream, pour the sugar in to a saucepan, add the water and bring to a slow boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until a small string of syrup hangs down when you lift the spoon out.
- Set aside and cool down enough that you can touch it without burning your fingertip. Add the glass of espresso.
- Beat the butter until soft, using a stand mixer and paddle attachment if you have. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Add the coffee sugar syrup in a very slow stream, stirring until all the syrup is mixed in.
- To finish, remove the cake from the pan. Cut in half horizontally.
- Spread about a third of the buttercream on the bottom half. Place the other half on top. Smooth the remaining buttercream on top and sides.
- If desired, sprinkle with toasted almond slivers and freshly grated dark chocolate.
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