This is my husbands favorite cake from our ‘go-to’ bakery in North Beach area of San Franciso, Stella Pastries and Cafe on Columbus. I had to try this for his Birthday Cake, and it turned out delizioso!
1 hour, 30 minutes
3 hours, 30 minutes
You will need:
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment, and whisk attachment
- Large metal bowl
- Medium or large saucepan for a double boiler (that the metal bowl that can sit in without touching the water)
- Silicone spatula, wooden spoon
- Rolling pin or mallet for crushing cookies
- One 8-inch springform pan and one 10-inch springform pan (trimmed to fit after baking)
- 8-inch cake ring
- Piping bag and large open star tip
- Cake Comb (optional)
- 1 recipe Genoese cake
- 1 recipe Zabaglione
- 1 recipe simple syrup
- 1 recipe Cream frosting
- 1 cup amaretti cookie crumbs
- —Meringue (garnish/decoration), Ingredients:
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- large pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp amaretto
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- —Genoese Cake, Ingredients:
- 7 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- —Zabaglione Filling, Ingredients:
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup cream sherry
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 sheet gelatin (9 by 2 1/2 inches) or 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to medium-soft peaks
- —Simple Syrup, Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cream sherry
- 1/4 cup water
- —Fresh Cream Frosting, Ingredients:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- Amoretti Cookies
- —For the meringues:
- Preheat the oven to 225° degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking sheet.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until just barely frothy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Lower the speed and gradually beat in the sugar.
- Add the amaretto and vinegar and then turn up to medium speed and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes longer.
- Fill a large piping bag with an open star tip and pipe 2.5 inch flourishes of your choice on a parchment-lined (or silicone sheet lined) baking sheet.
- Place on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until only very slightly darker and dry.
- Open the oven door, turn off the oven and use a large wooden spoon or spatula to prop the door open slightly, and let meringues cool in the oven. Do not remove until completely room temperature to try and avoid cracking.
- Cool on wire racks. Store in a tightly closed plastic container at room temperature.
- —For the Genoese Butter Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees°.
- Butter and flour two 8-inch springform pans, line with parchment.
- In a large metal bowl (preferably a Stand Mixer metal bowl), beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer if not in a stand mixer) on high speed until tripled in volume, about 7 minutes.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan of water, bring the water to a simmer, and whisk until eggs are warmed. Remove from the heat.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture. Separate one-eighth of the batter into a small bowl and whisk the melted butter into it. Slowly re-incorporate this batter/butter mixture back into the rest of the batter, gently fold to avoid deflating the air in the batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans, fill the 8″ pan 2/3 full, and the rest of the batter into the 10″. (8″ cake will be cut in half, 10″ will not.)
- Bake for about 30 minutes on the same rack in the middle of the over, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centers come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. (The cakes can be made a day ahead if tightly wrapped in plastic.)
- —For the Zabaglione Filling:
- Make a water bath by filling a large saucepan half-full with water. (but still fits the metal bowl without touching the water)
- Combine the yolks, cream sherry, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl.
- Place the bowl over the water and, while whisking the eggs vigorously with a handheld whisk, bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and is light and fluffy.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool. (Leave the water bath over low heat.)
- Place the gelatin sheet, in cold water to soften. When soft, squeeze out the excess water, then whisk into the egg mixture. (Or, for powdered gelatin, put 2 tablespoons cold water in a small dish and sprinkle the gelatin over the water.)
- Let stand for 1 minute to soften, then remove the sheet from the water and squeeze out excess water and whisk into the egg mixture. (or just add the bloomed powdered gelatin)
- Return the bowl of egg mixture to the simmering water bath and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved for about 2 minutes.
- Be careful not to overcook the eggs, as they may curdle, but make sure when whisking to bring all of the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl.
- Refrigerate until cold, whisking occasionally so it doesn’t solidify.
- Whip the cream to medium (not stiff) peaks, then gently fold in the whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture to create the Zabaglione.
- —For the Cream Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream with the sugar, vanilla, and brandy to stiff peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- —For the Simple Syrup:
- Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water and the cream sherry. Set aside, but make this last to use when warm.
- —To Assemble:
- —Create layers:
- With a long sharp knife, trim off the very top of the cake rings. (about 1/8 inch on the top of both cakes, and trim the 10″ cake to 8″ using an 8″ cake ring).
- Slice the 8″ cake into 2 equal rounds, and slice the top of the 10″ cake to make 3 equal layers.
- With a very sharp knife, trim off the outer brown edges of each layer.
- Place the top layer of cake on a flat serving plate.
- Place the cake ring around the cake.
- Dip a pastry brush into the simple syrup and brush it generously onto the cake layer to moisten it.
- Spread about half of the zabaglione on top.
- Add the next layer of cake, brush with the syrup, and top with the remaining syrup and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to set.
- Remove the ring from the cake.
- Frost the whole cake with the cream frosting, spreading it very evenly and smoothly. (Use a cake comb if you have one.)
- Sprinkle the amaretti crumbs on top.
- Press the meringues and amaretti cookies alternately into the sides of the cake, spacing them evenly. (meringues perpendicular up and down, not lengthwise)
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve, or overnight.