Esterházy torta

by | Mar 18, 2016 | Desserts

The origin of Esterhazy torta is not really identifiable, this is the reason why so many versions circulate in the different recipe collections. This Hungarian cake was invented in the 19th century by unknown confectioner(s). It’s only a presumption that the torta was named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha (1786–1866), a member of the Esterházy dynasty and diplomat of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Legend makers chose him probably because he was said to be a big gourmet, and the famous Esterházy steak is also related to his name.

Uncertainty about the recipe is, if possible, much bigger, but there are a few cornerstones that serve as a guide to making a traditional Esterházy cake. The number of layers is 5 or 6, the cake layers don’t contain flour, they just consist of sugar, egg whites and ground walnuts or almond.

The filling is a cooked vanilla pastry cream combined with butter. It can be flavoured with rum, walnut liqueur or amaretto. Characteristics of the Esterházy cake is the spider web like decoration. The torte is iced with a fondant glaze and decorated with a chocolate striped pattern. Most of the recipes recommend to use white chocolate instead of fondant, which is time-consuming enough to prepare. (Let me point out that it’s not the end of the world if you can’t reproduce the required decoration, taste of the cake won’t change.)

Esterházy torta / Esterházy cake
Esterházy torta – photo:
Esterházy cake / Esterházy torta
Esterházy torta – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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