Othello Layer Cake
This is a beautiful cake to serve for afternoon fika on the weekends or a small birthday gathering. A bit of a faff to decorate, but once the marzipan is on, it's almost done. And yes, it's absolutely worth it.
- 2 egg whites
- 75 g ground almonds
- 50 g caster sugar
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
- 75-100 g raspberry jam
- 100 g icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
- 50 g good-quality 70% dark chocolate melted and still warm.
- 150 g store-bought good-quality marzipan
- a large baking sheet greased and lined with baking parchment
- a piping/pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle/tip
(If you are making the sponge layers, complete these first and set aside).
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
To make the almond layer, whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the almond mixture into a circle the same size as the cake bases (20 cm/8 inches diameter) on the baking parchment on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool.
Whip the cream until stiff with the icing/confectioners’ sugar. Reserve 1 heaped cup of the whipped cream for decoration. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream until smooth, then refrigerate.
Make sure your prepared layer cake bases are completely even in size. If not, trim to fit. To assemble, place the almond layer on a serving plate and spread a thin layer of raspberry jam/jelly on top. Add a third of the pastry cream mixture, and spread evenly. Repeat the cream and jam/jelly addition again with the first and second sponge cake layers.
Turn the third and final sponge cake layer over and add a thin, even layer of jam/jelly. Place it, jam side down, onto the pastry cream on the layer below. Ensure the whole cake is even and stable. Use a little of the leftover whipped cream and a spatula to even the filling around the edges so the sides are straight. If you find this tricky, refrigerate and then do it.
To make the icing/frosting, add the icing/confectioners’ sugar to a bowl along with 1–2 tablespoons of hot water and mix until smooth. Add the warm, melted chocolate. If it is too thick, add a bit more water. Too thin, a bit more sugar. You want a smooth, thick yet spreadable consistency. Spread a generous layer on top of the cake to the edge.
Work the marzipan with a little icing/confectioners’ sugar, then roll it out to a piece long enough to fit around the sides of the cake and the same height as the cake exactly. Do it in two lots if you find this easier.
Cut the edges of the marzipan so they are sharp, then wrap around the cake and secure with a dab of water. Put the reserved whipped cream in a piping/pastry bag and pipe dots of cream all around the top edge, hiding where the chocolate ends. Refrigerate before serving.
The recipe for this can be found in our book Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell – photo graph here by Pete Cassidy, published by Ryland Peter and Small.