Malakoff Sponge Cake

A rich Austrian cake flavoured with brandy, Malakoff Sponge Cake is easy to prepare and makes a very impressive dessert.

12 oz. almonds, chopped

6 oz. sugar

4 oz. butter egg yolks

1 fl. oz. brandy

2 fl. oz. milk

30 sponge finger biscuits

10 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped

Line a 6-inch round cake tin with grease-proof or waxed paper. Set aside.

Place 8 ounces cups of the chopped almonds in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 ounces of the sugar and set the pan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes and the almonds are pale golden. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Crush the caramelized almonds into pieces with the end of a rolling pin. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter and remaining sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Stir in the egg yolks and 2 fluid ounces of the brandy. Add the caramelized nuts and mix well. Set aside.

Pour the remaining brandy and the milk into another medium-sized mixing bowl. Place the biscuits in the bowl and soak them in the liquid for 2 minutes.

Cover the bottom of the cake tin with one-third of the biscuits . Spoon over half of the nut mixture. Top with another layer of biscuits and cover with the remaining nut mixture. Cover with a final layer of biscuits .

Cover the tin with greaseproof or waxed paper and place a weight on top.

Put the tin in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Remove the tin from the refrigerator and remove the weight and paper from the top of the tin. Place a serving plate, inverted, over the tin. Holding the plate and tin firmly together, reverse them, shaking the tin slightly.

The cake should slide out easily on to the plate. Peel off the greaseproof or waxed paper. With a flat-bladed knife, spread the cake with the whipped cream and decorate with the remaining chopped nuts. Serve at once.

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