A picnic with friends, a Rum Torte, a dozen eggs, a million calories. This post is not for the time constrained or the feint-hearted!
I only ate this torte once and it was a challenge to unearth the recipe and try it. It didn't help that the book pages were yellowed with age and that instructions were of the "bake until done" variety. Nevertheless, here it is ... cake, syrup, assembly, glaze, frosting.
The torte consists of four layers -- two yellow, one chocolate and one pink. They all are made from the same base batter with the coloring added to make the middle layers chocolate and pink.
12 large eggs, separated
300 grams (1-1/2 cups) granulated baking sugar
250 grams (2 cups) sifted flour
20 grams (3 Tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
red food coloring
1/4 teasp. Cream of Tartar
Beat the egg yolks with 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar on a high speed until they become a glossy pale yellow and very thick (at least 5 minutes if not longer).
Fold in the flour.
Beat the egg whites on a medium speed for about a minute. Add the Cream of Tartar and beat at high speed for a minute. Slowly add in the remaining 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar and beat until glossy stiff peaks form.
Add a third of the egg whites to the yolk and flour batter and rapidly stir in to lighten the batter. Next, fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Grease and flour four 9-inch round cake pans. Fill two cake pans each with 1/3 of the batter. Divide the remaining 1/3 of the batter in half. Add a few drops of red food coloring into one of the halves to make the batter pink. Add the cocoa powder to the other remaining half to make the batter chocolate. Pour the pink and chocolate batter into the other two cake pans. Bake the torte layers in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 25 minutes. Remove when done and invert on racks to cool. Once cool, cut the chocolate and pink layers into cubes or wedges and put in a bowl.
300 grams (1-1/2 cups) sugar
200 milliliters (0.84 cup) water
50 milliliters (0.21 cups) rum
zest of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
Boil all the ingredients until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
Pour the hot liquid over the wedges of the chocolate and pink layers and let it all sit until the liquid is absorbed.
Melt some apricot jam until it is easy to spread.
Put one layer of the yellow torte in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Spread apricot jam on it. Then, arrange the pink and chocolate layers on the jam. Next, spread the second yellow torte layer with apricot jam and put it (jam-side down) on the pink and chocolate layers.
At this point, whether or not the four layers are higher than the sides of the spring form pan, put a cover or plate over the torte and weigh it down so as to compress all the layers together. Let it all sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Take the torte out of the spring form pan and put on a working surface to complete.
300 grams sugar
100 milliliters (0.422 cups) water
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy sauce pan. Heat and boil until the sugar dissolves and turns a golden caramel brown color. At this point the glaze will be thick. Quickly pour it over the top of the cake. Use a sharp knife to score the glaze in slices to make it easier to cut later. The glaze hardens fast, so work quickly.
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 lbs. powdered sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp. milk
2 Tsp. vanilla
Red food coloring
Beat the butter until fluffy and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. The frosting will be very stiff. Add 6 Tbsp of the milk and enough drops of food coloring to get a pink color. Add the remaining milk, if necessary, to thin out the consistency of the frosting. Frost the sides of the tort.
Transfer to a serving platter. And, voilà, you're done. Finally.