The Hungarian classic. I might as well disclose up front, the taste, specifically, the texture of the cake layers, was no good. Tough and chewy, yuck. I followed a recipe to the letter, rather than applying what I knew. It was a separated egg sponge, and it said to mix the flour in thoroughly, then the egg whites. Tsk. Also, I was referencing another recipe which had a different baking temperature and said to bake until brown. However, the recipe I used has less than 50% sugar than that one. So there’s your browning. So I ended up overbaking the layers by about 100%, as well as possibly overmixing (the recipe had 8 ounces of bread flour as well). Looked great though:
The caramel came out great too, perfect in my opinion. Oh, those dark bits in the icing? Chocolate got too cool when folding into the buttercream. Whoops. I should be ashamed for not folding quickly and more thoroughly, tsk.
Layering was fine, a bit thick on some layers. It looks good enough, so if I didn’t say anything about consuming it, no one would ever know. But, I’m trying to improve, not impress.
I was so disappointed and apologetic (and slightly ashamed)– I tossed out the last quarter of it– that I had to do it again the next day, just to get it right. I alternated the egg whites and flour, stuck to the one recipe’s baking time and temperature, paid closer attention (i.e., opened the oven door and touch-tested more) and it came out much better. These layers were soft and spongy, just like a sponge cake. I’ve seen this cake masked in almonds, and plain, but I already did the plain, so why not. Also, some prop up the slices with rosettes or nuts, some lay them flat, and I already did the former.
Unfortunately, the sugar is way undercooked, obviously. I wonder if it even got to 300°. It was chewy and sticky, not crisp. (Damn it!) It looked amber in the pan, but it was just the concentration of the color. That and I’m always worried about burning sugar, even though sugar is cheap and the whole process takes but a few minutes. It should be dark amber, not light golden. Oh well. Damn it, just 20-30 seconds would’ve made all the difference.
Less icing too, but only because I was using the leftover from the first cake and I had to make it last.
If only I could switch the top layer of the first with that of the second, I could’ve had a cake where the entire thing is edible, fancy that.