Russian cream torte – Oroszkrém torta

The recipe of Russian cream torte appeared and was widepsread between the World Wars. Despite its name this torte has nothing to do with the Russians; it was invented by a Hungarian pastry chef, who worked at the Oroszi Kávéház (Russian Coffee House) in Budapest, so oroszkrém torta is a real Hungarian dessert.

This cake is made with a spongecake, créme anglaise, raisins soaked in rum, candied fruits (any kind you like) and whipped cream. Bad news for those who don’t like raisins that they are a must, can’t be omitted. The number of cake layers might be 3 or 4, depending which recipe you use. A lot of recipes call for a five egg spongecake, but it’s very hard, if not impossible to cut it into four layers. I chose to make a 6 egg spongecake, and cut into 3 layers.

Russian cream tortephoto: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 5 eggs
  • 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) + 150 ml (~2/3 cup) milk
  • 150 g (~3/4 cup) sugar
  • seeds of a half vanilla bean
  • 30 g (~2 1/4 tbsp) gelatin
  • 400 ml (~1 2/3 cups) whipping cream
  • 100 g (~2/3 cup) raisins
  • 100 g (~2/3 cup) candied fruits
  • 100 ml (~1/2 cup) rum

For the decoration:

  • 200 ml (~3/4 cup) whipping cream

Soak the raisins in rum. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 23 cm/9 inch spring form round cake tin.

Mix together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until very stiff peaks form. Beat the egg yolks with sugar. Gradually add the flour mixture to the yolk mix. Gently fold the egg whites into the beaten egg yolks. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake until golden brown. Remove cake from the cake tin and transfer onto a wire rack. Once the cake is cool, cut it into 3 layers.

Meanwhile start making the cream filling. Place the eggs, 300 ml of milk, sugar and vanilla seeds in a metal bowl and over a pot of simmering water (taking care not to touch the water), while whisking steadily, cook until the custard thickens and makes the ribbon. Dissolve gelatin in 150 ml of hot milk, and immediately add to the custard. Let custard cool down to room temperature – don’t forget to stir it from time to time. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form and gently fold into the custard.

Strain the rum off the raisins. Place one cake layer on a cake tray. Spread about 1/3 of the cream on the top. Scatter half of the raisins and candied fruits on the filling. Cover with the next layer of cake, spread with 1/3 of the filling and dot with the remaining raisins and candied fruits. Put the third cake layer on the top, and cover the whole cake by spreading the rest of the custard evenly. Place in the fridge for a night. Before serving whip 200 ml of cream, spoon into a piping bag and decorate the cake with cream rosettes.

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