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---------------------------ALMOND MERINGUE LAYERS---------------------------
6 lg Egg whites, at room temp. 2 1/2 c Sugar, powdered, sifted,
3/4 c Almonds, blanched, ground -- plus more as needed
2 1/2 tb Sugar
------------------------HAZELNUT PRALINE BUTTERCREAM------------------------
1 c Milk 1 tb Sugar
4 lg Egg yolks 4 oz Hazelnut Praline Paste *
1/3 c Sugar, plus 1 1/2 c Almonds, toasted, sliced
1 c Butter, unsalted, at -- (about 4 ounces) **
-- room temperature
* Available at specialty stores or by mail order from H. Roth and Sons,
1577 First Avenue, New York, New York, 10028, (212)-734-1110
** Simply toast almonds at 350 F for 7 to 10 minutes.
For Almond Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut out three 10-inch parchment paper
circles and one 10-inch cardboard circle. Set the parchment circles on
Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add 2 1/2 tablespoons
of sugar and continue beating until stiff. Combine 2 1/2 cups of
powdered sugar and ground almonds; fold into egg whites.
Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a no. 6 round tip. (A
number six tip leaves a round, tube-like stream a little less than a
half inch in diameter.) Pipe meringue onto parchment circles, starting
in the center and spiraling outward just to the edge. Dust lightly with
powdered sugar. Bake the circles until crisp and very lightly golden
(25 to 30 minutes.) Cool on racks.
Place a medium bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Set Aside.
Bring milk to the boiling point in a heavy saucepan over medium
Meanwhile, beat egg yolks in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
Gradually add 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue berating
until the mixture is pale yellow and forms a ribbon when beaters are
lifted (about 7 minutes.)
Gradually add boiling milk to yolk mixture, beating constantly to
avoid the yolk curdling. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook
over low heat - stirring with a wooden spoon, for 30 seconds.
Immediately pour custard into the bowl set over ice water.
Cool, stirring occasionally.
Beat the butter and praline paste in a large bowl until smooth and
creamy. Gradually beat in cooled custard.
Using cardboard as a guide, trim meringues to even circles.
Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Choose 1 meringue with a smooth
bottom and set aside.
Spread 1/3 of the cream onto 1 meringue layer. Top with a second
meringue, centering it over the bottom layer. Smooth on another layer
of buttercream. Top with remaining meringue, smooth side up, pressing
gently. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining buttercream. Gently
press sliced almonds onto sides and top with a spatula.
Dust about 2 inches of rim and 2-inch circle in center with
powdered sugar. Transfer to serving platter. Let stand at room
temperature for 30 minutes before serving in wedges.
Source: New York's Master Chefs, Bon Appetit Magazine
: Written by Richard Sax, Photographs by Nancy McFarland
: The Knapp Press, Los Angeles, 1985
Chef: Jean-Jacques Rachou, La Cote Basque Restaurant, New York
Heston Blumenthal - The Fat Duck
The Fat Duck is voted the #1 best restaurant in the world by Michelin Guide (celebrity chef from England)
French celebrity chef. The "Chef of the Century" with 26 Michelin Guide Stars - the most of any chef in the world!
Award-winning television personality. The queen of fried foods and Southern cooking. Earnings: $9 million
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