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FOR A THESIS DEFENSES, VIENNESE CAKE
For both my thesis defenses (Master’s and Doctor’s degree), I needed good food, in other words, a good cake! So, I didn’t think twice about it; it had to be the Viennese cake (from Álvaro Rodrigues). Well, after a high level of stress because of the presentation of my thesis, of course I deserved some comfort food, as Nigella Lawson likes to say. I admit that it is a bit hard to make, but the result is delicious. Moreover, the cake is wrapped in aluminium foil, so it is very easy to serve. And a useful tip: it reaches perfection when frozen! So, you can make this cake some days in advance and freeze it. After taking it out of the freezer, you don’t have to wait too long to eat it because it is very caloric, quite greasy so it doesn’t freeze completely! Mothers are mothers! While I studied and spent endless hours memorizing my presentation and studying the content, my mum made all the delicacies. At my break time, I always helped, supervised and “put my finger” in everything that she made, it is in my Leo blood, I drive everyone crazy! Well, let’s go to the recipe! In the original recipe, the cake is dipped in syrup and it can be covered in nuts or chocolate or coconut, but I usually skip these steps. For me, the cake itself with apricot filling is already great, so in this way, we can dramatically cut the calories!
Total time: 24 hours Makes: 30 squares
For the cake:
- 5 medium eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup chocolate powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 cup oil
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 1 pinch salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F;
2. Beat eggs whites with a mixer until soft peaks form and reserve in the fridge;
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the eggs yolks with the sugar until smooth and cream in colour;
4. Meanwhile, boil the water and dissolve the cocoa and the chocolate powder, both sifted. Then add to the mixer;
5. Add the oil and the dry sifted ingredients and beat until smooth batter;
6. Gently, add the eggs white. Finally, place the cake batter into the greased and floured pan;
7. Bake in the preheat oven. The cake is done when a wooden toothpick is inserted into the middle of the cake and, it comes out clean.
For the Viennese frosting:
- 200 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup chocolate, sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon rum essence
- 3 tablespoons rum or whisky or cognac
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy;
2. Slowly, add all ingredients and continue to beat together until they are incorporated.
For the apricot filling:
- 250 grams dried apricots, cut into 4 pieces each
- 250 ml boiling water
- 1 cup granulated sugar or refined
- 1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped
1. Place the apricots in a bowl, add boiling water, and leave for 2 hours (if absorb all water, add more);
2. After 2 hours, add sugar and cook until tender;
3. Finally, mix in the processor, or blender, until you get some apricot paste and add the crushed nuts.
Once the cake is cool, crumble the whole cake in a large bowl. Add the Viennese frosting and, knead with your hands. Then line a baking pan with aluminum foil, put half the cake mixture and dress it down with your fingers. Spread the apricot filling over the cake. Then place the other half on top and refrigerate overnight. After that, unmold and cut into squares. Wrap and serve well chilled. I'm sure the cake will be a success!
07/ 24/ 2015