Mazarin Torte

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A Mazarin torte is a cake made with marzipan, or almond paste. It is a common type of torte in Denmark, where you can get cheap versions prepackaged in the supermarket (of dubious quality) to fancy little tarts at your bakery. It is a soft, moist cake with a strong marzipan flavor, topped with some sort of chocolate or chocolate frosting and usually baked in a sweet or flakey pie dough (pate brisee or pate sucre).

This recipe is baked without a pie shell, and I really don’t think this type of cake needs it, usually I think the shell ends up tasting bland and serving no purpose, the almond flavor is not a ‘strong’ flavor unlike a fruit tart that needs some balance.

I found this recipe in a fun little cookbook from Henrik Boserup, a Danish celebrity chef. The book is more inspiration than anything else, a lot of the recipes contain approximations rather than measurements or timings – and for many things that is actually all you need. For cakes like this, measurements are given though, that is nature of pastry baking. The book is simply called ‘mad‘ (food), and he made two different ones, a black and a white. They are one of my favorite cookbooks, everything is so inspiring and simple, and the format is actually quite different from a usual cookbook. This recipe is from the black ‘mad’.

This is made with orange, but other fruits can be used. I doubled the recipe to fit it in a spring form, but not the amount of orange (I only had 1 in the house), which I think was a mistake, it could have used more orange flavor.

I made a chocolate ganache to go on top, and that was great choice. That basic recipe came from On Baking.
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Ingredients, torte:

  • 200 g almond paste (marzipan – the higher almond percentage the better) (7 oz)
  • 200 g sugar (7 oz)
  • 200 g butter at room temperature (7 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 oranges

Ingredients, ganache:

  • 160 g dark chocolate, min. 60% cocoa (5.5 oz)
  • 150 ml heavy cream ( 0.6 cups)
  • 3-6 tbsp orange liquor, such as Grand Mariner (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 355 F and lightly grease a 20 cm across spring form.

2.  Peel and chop the oranges, removing as much of the bitter white membranes as you can.

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3. Simmer the oranges in pot until almost dry and let cool.

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4. Meanwhile, work together the marzipan, sugar and butter until smooth and homogenous.

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5. Add in the eggs.

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6. Add the flour (and a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter) and mix lightly. The consistency should be like a thick cream.

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7. Add the orange.

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8. Pour your batter into the prepared tin.

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9. Bake for 40-60 min. The cake should be golden brown, springy to touch and set all the way through when a toothpick is inserted.

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10. Let cool on a rack.

11. Make your ganache while the cake is cooling. Chop the chocolate very finely and heat the cream gently, until just boiling.

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12. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix  with a rubber spatula until smooth.

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13. Add the liquor and mix some more. Let cool slightly.

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14. Spread the ganache over the cake and down the sides. Make pretty swirls for decoration if desired.

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This turned out really, really well, except it could have more orange flavor. I really don’t think this cake need a shell, it worked out very well.

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