Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Eve Countdown Clock Torte

If you have any mulled wine leftover from Christmas, may I present a most delicious and beautiful way to use it up. This torte consists mulled wine cream sandwiched between two layers of chocolate meringue-like cake. The clock topping is made from marzipan. 

The chill time on this baby is 3 hours. So make the cake before you tackle the clock topper. If you are short on time or not making this for New Year's eve, you can also leave the top plain, adding a dusting of cocoa powder. To get into the New Year's Eve spirit,  the clock is minutes from striking midnight. Oh the anticipation.

This recipe is from a German cooking magazine. I switched things up with the directions and created a fancier clock than was pictured in the magazine. Also this cake demands a cake stand. I was shocked to discover (queen of props here) that I did not have a color appropriate one to style the cake for the photos so I went with a cake plate.

I stuck to the chocolate, mulled wine, marzipan flavors in the original recipe. Turns out, it's an unbeatable combination.

New Year's Eve Countdown Clock  Torte


  • 1/3 cup of vanilla pudding powder
  • 2 cups mulled wine
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces of Marzipan
  • 2 ounces shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles
  • Food coloring (I used paste food coloring - Wilton's Blue)
  • Disco dust
  • Edible gold dust
  • 4 tablespoons vodka or any clear drinking alcohol
  • White icing in a tube

  • Place the vanilla pudding powder into a small bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the mulled wine and whisk together . 
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat cook the rest of the mulled wine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil, add the mulled wine soaked pudding powder. Cook and stir until the pudding forms. This will happen very quickly so don't walk away from the pot. Whisk out any lumps.
  • Remove the mulled wine pudding from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic cling film, making sure the plastic touches the top of the pudding to prevent a crust from forming. Place in the refrigerator to cool it to room temperature.
  • Separate the eggs. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer whip together the egg whites. Add a pinch of salt to stabilize them. When the whites become foamy, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar and teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10" springform pan with baking paper and grease the paper and sides of the pan with vegetable shortening.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. In another separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Fold the beaten egg yolks into the egg white mixture, the fold in the dry ingredients until everything is evenly combined.
  • Spread the mixture evenly out into the prepared springform pan. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes then remove the cake base from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Remove the chilled mulled wine pudding from the refrigerator and add it to the butter/sugar mixture a little at a time. Occasionally stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Use a large serrated knife to cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise, NOT into half moon shapes. You should have two large, even sized round cake circles.
  • Place one circle on a serving plate. If you have a torte ring, place it around the cake. If you don't you can use the ring from the springform pan.
  • Spread 3/4 of the mulled wine pudding over the top of the cake. Place the second cake circle on top of the pudding layer. 
  • Reserve 3 tablespoons of the pudding and spread the rest on top of the second cake layer. Place in the refrigerator and let stand for 3 hours.
  • Roll out the marzipan. Use the springform pan as a guide to cut out a 10" circle in parchment paper. Place the parchment circle on top of the marzipan and use a sharp knife to cut out a circle. 
  • Use a large pastry knife or a spatula to transfer the marzipan circle to the parchment paper. 
  • Color some of the marzipan blue or whatever color would like to use for accents.
  • Roll out the tinted marzipan and cut out the two hands of the clock, small hand and larger hand (2 and 4 inches respectively), then cut out approximately 1 inch in diameter circles (use a cutter) for the hours. 
  • Place the small marzipan circles in the place where numbers on a clock would be. Place the last circle in the middle of the top of the torte. At this point I painted blue disco dust on the circles. Dip the brush into the vodka or clear drinking alcohol and then into the dust and carefully paint the dust onto the marzipan.
  • Also at this point I used a champagne flute cookie cutter to cut out the shape, then painted the shape with silver and gold edible dust and placed it on the right side of the clock. You can improvise here using star or heart shaped cutters.
  • Place the marzipan clock hands on the torte. The little hand pointing to the 12 and the large one 4 minutes before 12. Roll a small ball of tinted marzipan between your fingers and place it on top of the base of the hands. I covered the center and clock hands with disco dust.
  • I used a tube of white icing to write the numbers numbers corresponding to the hours on the circles on the clock.  However, you can also use leftover royal icing or melted white chocolate (with a #2 tip). If you have small number cutters, you can also use those to create the numbers out of the leftover un-tinted fondant or use the tinted fondant and paint with gold or silver dust.
  • Use what is leftover from your edible writing material to write whatever message you like on the cake or leave it blank. 
  • Retrieve the torte from the refrigerator and remove the torte ring. Use a pastry knife or brush to cover the sides of the torte with the remaining mulled wine pudding.
  • Cover the sides with the shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles.
  • Carefully slide the finished large marzipan clock from the parchment paper to the top of the torte and serve.

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