Tiered cakes are no longer just for bakers and culinary experts. They can be made by anyone with an oven and the determination to make something beautiful. Try this layered meringue cake for a perfect centrepiece at your next dinner party.
softened ¾ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon Custard Filling
¼ cup custard powder
½ cup caster sugar
1½ cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
90g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Preheat oven on CircoTherm 160C (in a NEFF oven, and also 160C in a regular oven). Grease and line the bases of two 20cm shallow cake tins.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Mix in half the buttermilk then the sifted flour and baking powder.
3. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix to form a smooth batter. Spread the mix evenly between the two tins.
4. Beat the egg whites for the meringue in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
5. Gradually beat in the sugar to form a meringue. Spread the meringue over the cake batter then sprinkle with the combined topping ingredients.
6. Place the cakes into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Rest slightly in the pan before turning out onto wire racks to cool.
7. To prepare the custard filling, combine the custard powder and sugar in a medium saucepan and gradually blend in some of the milk to form a smooth paste.
8. Blend in remaining milk and egg. Cook over a medium heat (induction level 6) until mixture thickens and just comes to the boil.
9. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to prevent the custard forming a skin. Allow to cool completely.
10. Cream the butter and vanilla with an electric mixer. Gradually add the cooled custard mixture, beating well after each addition.
11. To assemble the torte, join the two cake surfaces with the custard filling. The meringue should be on the top and bottom of the cake.