Frankfurt Crown Cake

Ingredients

Praline Topping:
2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup almonds, blanched, sliced

Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
8 Tbsp rum
4 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 cup flour, unbleached, measured after sifting

Butter-Cream Filling:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
6 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp rum
1 cup butter, unsalted

Apricot Glaze:
2/3 cup apricot jam
1 tsp rum

Directions

Praline Topping: Spread 2 Tbsp butter thickly in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. In a 1-quart saucepan, boil sugar and water to 238 degrees F. (soft ball stage). Stir in almonds; cook until mixture reaches 310 degrees F. or until syrup turns slightly brown as it caramelizes. Pour syrup into prepared baking pan. When cool, break up praline and chop it in a food processor for a few seconds. A blender can also be used but it makes smaller more powdery praline.

Cake: To prepare cake, separate the eggs. Egg yolks must be beaten into the cake one at a time so keep the yolks separated from each other. Put all the whites together in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in lemon rind and 2 Tbsp rum. Sift baking powder and flour together. Gently mix into the butter mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour into a well-greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for about 60 minutes or until the cake tests done. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and turn out on wire rack to cool completely. Slice cake crosswise into 3 layers. Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of rum over each layer. Reassemble the layers putting a sheet of waxed paper between each layer. Place in heavy plastic bag and freeze.

Butter-Cream Filling: For butter-cream filling, boil sugar and water to 238 degrees F. (soft ball stage). Beat egg yolks until very light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. While still beating the egg yolks, add the sugar syrup in a thin stream. Beat 5 minutes more, until very thick and doubled in bulk. Slowly beat in the rum. Beat the butter in a small bowl until soft and light. Beat butter into the egg mixture a little at a time. Continue beating until thick. Chill until mixture can be spread. If mixture is too soft, beat in additional butter.

Apricot Glaze: Finally heat jam and press through a strainer or sieve to make apricot glaze. The original directions did not call for the rum to be added but my jam was very thick.

Cake Assembly: To assemble cake, place bottom layer of cake on cake plate and spread with a bit less than half of the butter cream. Repeat with second layer. Place third layer on top. Spread top and sides of cake with apricot glaze. Press praline powder onto glaze. Any remaining butter cream can be used to decorate the top of the cake.



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