CAKE WITH CROQUANT (ALMOND BRITTLE)
This cake recipe I got from my mother in law, she got it from her mother in law, and finally she got it from her mother. So it is a quite old recipe and very common on menu in Split for all kinds of celebrations: baptism of children, birthday parties, weddings…
WHAT IS CROQUANT?
In Dalmatia it is a mixture of caramelized sugar and toasted almonds, very sweet, sticky and aromatic.
People use it as a cake decoration.
More often, however, they tend to make whole cake out of it for, let’s say, weddings.
In Split usually they’d make model of St Duje (tower of The Cathedral of Saint Dominic). Sv Duje is Saint protector of Split and the Tower is one of Split’s most diffused trademarks.
In Dalmatia you can buy CROQUANT in almost every bakery or you can make it at home.All you need are pealed almonds, sugar and little bit of patience.There are many different versions of the basic recipe, but in Split we are making it like this:
YOU’LL NEED FOR CROQUANT:
- 250 g pealed almonds
- half liter of water
- 250 g sugar
- Toast almonds a little bit and than crush them with rolling pin.
- In a large heavy pot mix water and the sugar. Cook them on the low fire until sugar melts and becomes syrupy.
- The color of sugar is the best cue for golden honey color. Then add toasted almonds and stir all together.
- Immediately pour it all on the oiled baking paper and roll it into flat sheet (5 mm thick). Be careful not to burn yourself. Leave it for a minute until it’s still warm…
- Cut it with oily, warm knife into stripes long 10 cm, put aside and leave it to cool down.
Until it is still warm you can easily shape it into different forms, spirals etc.
NOW WE CAN START WITH CROQUANT CAKE:
INGREDIENTS for cake layers ( 2 layers):
- 10 egg whites
- 15 dag sugar
- 20 dag ground walnuts
- 2 tablespoons of flour
Or you can split ingredients and bake 2 times. For baking use spring form pan, 23cm across.
- Whisk 5 egg whites with half of sugar until it is thick and glossy.
- Add 10 dag ground walnuts and 1 spoon of flour into mixture and stir gently.
- Then gently put the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes on 150 C
Repeat the procedure for 2nd layer.
- 10 egg yolk
- 20 dag sugar
- 2 vanilla sugar
- 25 dag butter
- 10 stripes of croquant (8 croquants crush in small pieces, 2 croquants leave for decoration)
- Stir together the egg yolks with sugar (with wooden spoon/spatula) on Bagnio Maria (a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). The cream is ready when it’s so dense that it does not slide off a wooden spatula.
- Remove bowl from the pan, set aside and let the cream cool down to room temperature.
- Add butter and whisk it with cream until mixture is smooth.
5.Pour half of the cream over the cooled cake layer, cover it with 2nd cake layer and than spread the cream all around cake.
Decorate it with the rest of croquants as you wish!