Brittle Torte was my favourite dessert at El Comedor. To me it seemed like such a decadent looking cake and it stood so tall and proud with the brittle (I think they call it hokey pokey here) sticking out. I have always been a little intimidated to make this recipe but I finally decided to have a go. The conclusion? It wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. You will definitely need to plan ahead and maybe read the recipe a few times before you begin (I didn’t and realized half way through that I lacked baking soda to make the cake!).
This cake has two layers and sandwiched in between is a generous layer of fresh strawberries and cream. It is covered with even more cream and topped with more strawberries and the brittle. While it is a large cake (you will need an angel food pan), it is very light because it is leavened with air. When I first read the recipe I was surprised to learn that the sponge was not made with butter. No wonder I managed to eat two slices at a time!
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted twice
- 3/4 cup sugar (for the cake)
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon sale
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Sift the flour twice and add 3/4 cup sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the egg yolks, water, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth (I used the kitchen aid to make things easier)
- Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until very soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar gradually, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to beat until still meringue forms.
- Fold the first mixture gently into the meringue. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Carefully cut through the batter, going around the tube 5 or 6 times with a knife to break large air bubbles.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the top springs when lightly touched.
- Cool the cake. Remove it and split crosswise in 4 equal layers (I only did 2 layers). Put the layers together with the whipped cream and brittle. For my variation, I only split the cake into two layers and layered it with strawberries.
For Whipped Cream
- 2 cups thickened cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Whip the cream (again, the kitchen aid was indispensable). When you have almost reached the stiff peak stage, add the sugar and then the vanilla.
For the Brittle Topping
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, coffee, corn syrup and water. Stir well.
- Cook to hard-crack stage (148C) over medium high heat.
- Remove from the heat and immediately add the baking soda. Stir vigorously, but only until the mixture blends and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Quickly pour the foamy mixture into an ungreased shallow metal pan. Do not spread or stir. Let stand until cool. Knock out the pan and crush the brittle into chunks.
When the cake is cool, spread the whipped cream between the layers (see above) and the remainder over the top and sides of the cake. Cover the top and sides with candy. You may also sprinkle with blanched almond halves if desired.
Again my variation, I only used two layers where is sandwiched cream and strawberries and topped with strawberries and brittle.