Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Elderberry Marzipan Streusel Cake

This is truly one of the best cakes I have ever made. A marzipan riff on basic streusel takes this cake from rich to decadent. There is no traditional cake base. Pure marzipan streusel cradles the fresh elderberry mixture on top and bottom. This recipe is very easy to make if you already have marzipan on hand do not have to de-stem the elderberries (see method below). 

The fresh elderberries can be hard to harvest if not already not de-stemmed. If you purchase them on the stem, the best way to separate them is to freeze them in a paper bag. When the berries have frozen, shake the bag and the berries should fall off them stems. Make sure you separate and discard all stems as they are poisonous.

Or just substitute blackberries or any of your favorite berries for the Elderberries. For a fall riff,  use boiled, sugared fresh cranberries.
Elderberry Marzipan Streusel Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 35 minutes 

Yield: 8 pieces 

  • 10 ounces marzipan* (Homemade recipe follows) 
  • 2+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon white bread crumbs 14 ounces fresh elderberries
  • 1+ 1/4 cup elderberry jam or jelly powder sugar for decoration
Grease and flour a 10" springform pan
Grate the marzipan or cut it into very small pieces.
In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar and
Cut the butter into pieces. Beat the egg slightly. 
Add the marzipan, butter, and egg to the flour mixture and use the dough hook attachment to knead into a smooth mass. If the streusel does not form well, use your hands to finish the job.
Press half of the streusel into the bottom of the springform pan. Sprinkle the tablespoon of white breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Wrap the pan in plastic cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a separate bowl, mix the elderberries with the jam. 
Spread the mixture out on top of the streusel crust in the pan.
Crumble the second half of the streusel over the elderberry mixture.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. 
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan. transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top for decoration before serving. 

Homemade Marzipan Recipe:

• 1+1/2 cups *blanched ground almonds • 1+1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
• 1 teaspoon rosewater

• 2 tablespoons egg white
• Light corn syrup and extra powdered sugar to adjust consistency if needed

If you are using almond flour, skip the next two steps. 
  • *To blanch raw almonds, boil them in water for one minute, rinse immediately in a colander with cold water and squeeze the skins off with your fingers. They will slip off easily. 
  • Pulse the blanched almonds and a tablespoon of powdered sugar in a food processor until they are completely pulverized. The powdered sugar will prevent the almonds from becoming a paste. 
  • Add the 1+1/2 cups cup powdered sugar to the food processor and pulse until the almond meal and powdered sugar are combined. I like to take out the blade and use a whisk to break up any lumps that have formed and then replace the blade and pulse a few more times. 
  • Add the pure almond extract and the rosewater and pulse until combined. Add the egg white and pulse until the mixture becomes smooth. 
  • Wrap the mixture with plastic cling film, stow in a zip lock bag and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can also freeze it. 
Makes roughly 18 ounces

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