Linzertorte

I found the recipe for this cake (and its first mention) on an Italian blog about baking. The guy who started it is a former pastry chef and, in a typical Northern Italian way (read: monotone), he shows you how to prepare cakes, pasties and French patisserie must-haves, not to mention he posted very good tutorials on how to make pastry. You can have a look here.

As it usually is the case, I later found out the recipe I am about to post is not the original one for the Linzertorte, so apologies to all purists about. In my defence, the origins of this cake seem to be enshrouded in a deeper mystery than those of the Sachertorte, for which I am proud to say I have found the original recipe and will be making it soon. Anyway, the most curious thing about this cake is that it is a piped one. Yes, you have read correctly, the pastry is piped in the baking tin. Easy to do if you have big piping bag nozzles, not so if you, like me, only had small ones.

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Ingredients

  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 250g plain flour
  • vanilla extract
  • berry jam, half a jar

Method

  1. In a big bowl, cream the butter until soft and fluffy using an electric whisk. Slowly add the ground almonds and icing sugar and mix well. 
  2. Crack in the egg and keep on whisking to combine it with the rest of the mixture.
  3. Last addition, pour 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the bowl and slowly add the flour, mixing well. The overall consistency of the dough should be similar to that of a paste. Don’t worry if it’s too hard, as that is what allows you to pipe it later.
  4. Grease and line a baking tray (approximately 22cm diameter) and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and, using a 1cm star nozzle (the bigger the better in this case), use approximately half the mixture to fill the base. Pipe in circles, starting from the outside and turning the tin as you go, so that from above it should look like a big twirl. Remember to only pipe one layer.
  6. Once finished, use a palette knife to smooth it all out and fill any gaps which you might have created while piping. starting from the centre, spoon in some jam (as much as you like). Leave approximately 1.5cm empty all around the edge.
  7. Now let’s pipe the sides. Use half of the remaining mixture to pipe a second layer on top of the base all around the edge. Don’t worry if the mixture touches the jam layer, as that is actually better. Make sure you leave no gaps between the jam and the sides by piping an inner circle if necessary.
  8. Use the remaining mixture to pipe a lacing pattern on top. No need to panic for it, just make it simple and hold the cake in front of you, then draw vertical lines. Turn it by 90 degrees and draw some more vertical lines. Easy.
  9. Put it in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Once ready, it will be all golden and slightly puffed up and it will be shrinking from the sides.
  10. Let it cool before serving as the jam will be scorching hot!

Tips

  • The jam flavour you use is totally up to you. I used wild berries as the original recipe used a similar one, but you are more than welcome to try it with blueberries, blackberries and so on. I would say that, in order to achieve a better effect, the jam should be dark so as to create a nice contrast with the pastry layers. That said, it would probably look nice in red as well, so maybe you could give strawberry and/or raspberry jam a go.
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