one of the best things about spring is that there are strawberries again!
although you can buy fresh strawberries all year round because the get shipped from god knows where, they only really taste good in spring and early summer, when they can be locally grown and can be picked when the are ripe...
so every year i eat strawberries like crazy for 2 or 3 months and then i wait for the rest of the year until spring is back do to it again. by far the best thing you can do with strawberries is to make a cake out of them. and because it is spring now and a good friend of mine had her birthday i had the perfect excuse to make this great torte:
2 layers of fluffy pistacchio biscuit topped with a light lime and vanilla cream and chunks of fresh strawberries and some raspberries. it was so good that i had two pieces myself.
enjoy spring and my instructable (and hopefully this great cake if you decide to make it yourself)!
and since i have enough pro memberships to last a lifetime i will give a 3-month pro membership to the first three persons to comment on this instructable.
Step 1: Ingredients
for the pistacchio-biscuit-sponge:
- 1 cup / 120 g sugar
- 1/2 cup / 60 g of flour
- 1/2 cup / 60 g of starch
- 4 eggs
- about 150 g pistacchios
- 1 tsp baking powder
for the vanilla and lime cream:
- 250 g quark, if not available substitute with cream cheese
- 600 ml cream
- 1 organic lime
- 1 vanilla pod or vanilla extract if not available
- 4 leaves of gelatin
- 3 packets of whipping cream stiffener
- about 1 cup / 120 g sugar
- 120 g of raspberries
- about 350 g of strawberries
- sliced almonds or chopped pistacchios for decoration
you will also need a food processor, some kind of mixer and a spring form.
Step 2: Prepare the Pistacchios
shell the pistacchios, or better, get help doing that since it can be quite tedious work... don't snack too many of them as you do so.
put the pistacchios in a sieve and flush them with boiling water to get rid of the salt and then transfer them into a food processor or something similar and grind them until you have fine pistacchio meal.
Step 3: Making the Biscuit Sponge - Part 1
preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
separate the eggs and put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until they hold firm peaks, then transfer to another bowl and set aside.
put the yolks and the sugar into the mixing bowl (no need to wash it in between) and beat both until very thick and pale yellow in color.
mix starch, flour and baking powder and sieve them into the sugar and yolk mixture, beat until everything is well mixed, scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Step 4: Making the Biscuit Sponge - Part 2
now add the pistacchio meal and gently fold it into the mixture with a spoon. once everything is well mixed, add the beaten egg whites and (this time even more carefully) fold the egg whites into the dough.
put a sheet of baking paper between the upper and bottom part of a spring form and put the dough into the form and spread evenly. (don't butter the form)
put the biscuit into the oven and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the biscuit has a golden color.
take the biscuit out of the form and let it cool down completely.
Step 5: Making the Lime and Vanilla Cream - Part 1
put the quark into a bowl, slice the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds and add to the quark.
zest the lime and add the zest to the bowl along with the sugar. i didn't measure how much sugar i put in exacly, but i would recommend you put as much into the mixture that it is a bit too sweet for your taste, since it will be mixed with the cream later and thus become less sweet. but you can always add more sugar later...
mix everthing well.
soak the gelatin in cold water. juice the lime, put the juice into a pot a bring to the boil, then remove from the stove. add the soaked and drained gelatin and mix until the gelatin has dissolved.
Step 6: Making the Lime and Vanilla Cream - Part 2
stir one spoon of the quark into the gelatin and lime mixture, then add the gelatin and lime to the rest of the quark and mix well. put into the fridge.
add the cream along with the whipping cream stiffener into the mixing bowl and whip until stiff.
gently fold the whipped cream into the quark mixture. taste for sweetness, if you feel the cream should have a bit more sugar add some. the cream is now ready, if you don't start assembling the cake right away, put it in the fridge until you do.
Step 7: Prepare for Assemly
once the biscuit has cooled down completely, cut it in half so that you have to cake layers later.
depending on the size of your strawberries, cut them into smaller chunks, i cut mine into eighths.
put the sliced almonds into a pan and roast them until golden brown. let them cool down.
Step 8: Assemble & Enjoy
place one of the biscuit halves on a plate big enough to hold the cake.
spread a bit more than 1/3 of the cream on top of the biscuit, put the strawberry chunks on top and spread a bit more cream on top of the strawberries.
place the second biscuit on top, press slightly downwards so that it sits firmly on the cream and strawberries layer. spread the rest of the cream onto the biscuit and top with the raspberries.
sprinkle the toasted almonds on the cake.
put the torte into the fridge until you eat it. it will not keep much more than a day or two because of the fresh berries, but why should you leave it standing around for long anyway?