Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Layer Cake With Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert

Serves 12

Ingredients for the sponge cake;

4 tablespoons + 1 of unsalted butter

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra

3 large eggs

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ blanched almonds, ground

For the puff pastry:

1 pound puff pastry, thawed

¼ cup brown sugar

For the Bavarese:

1-1/4 cups whole milk

1 whole vanilla bean

3 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 unflavored gelatin sheet

1-1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped

To layer:

½ cup Kirsch liqueur

¾ cup whipping cream, whipped

Fresh fruit (pineapples, peaches, berries)

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions

Make the sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour and 8-inch springform cake pan. Beat the butter and eggs until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes in an electric mixer; bet in the almond extract. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, and fold in the butter mixture; fold in the almonds. Pour into the cake pan; bake 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack; unmold. Cut off the outside crust and cut horizontally into 2 layers.

Make the puff pastry; Raise the oven temperature to 400F. Roll out the puff pastry into 2 sheets; poke with a fork; brush with water. Dust with the brown sugar. Place on a baking sheet; bake 12 minutes, or until golden. Cool. Cut into 2-inch disks.

Make the Bavarese: Heat the milk and vanilla bean until almost boiling; discard the vanilla bean. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl; pour in the milk through a strainer, beating. Return to the pot; cook until the egg-milk mixture registers 175F on a thermometer.

Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water to cover for 5 minutes; squeeze dry. Add to the egg-milk mixture and let the mixture cool until it begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Fold in the whipped cream.

Layer the cake: Brush the sponge cake with the Kirsch liqueur. Place the bottom layer in an 8-inch spring form cake pan. Spread the bavarese over it; cover with the top layer of sponge cake. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Spread 1 puff pastry disk with half of the whipped cream. Top with the cake, unmolding it first. Coat the top and sides with the remaining whipped cream. Top with the remaining puff pastry disk. Place on a platter; garnish with the fruit. Dust with the confectioner’s sugar. Serve at room temperature.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog

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