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Slagroomtaart (Dutch Cream Cake)

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Slagroomtaart (Dutch Cream Cake)

Slagroomtaart (Dutch Cream Cake)

Photo © Uitgeverij de Kookboekhandel
Anyone who's ever been to a (birthday) celebration in a Dutch office or home will recognize slagroomtaart, an indulgent special occasion cake made of layers of plain sponge, whipped cream and fresh fruit.

This slagroomtaart recipe, from De Banketbakker cookbook, has been adapted and translated for this site and republished with the permission of the publisher. While I've converted the recipe to US measurements, this is a patissier's precision recipe, and you'll get the best results using a kitchen scale and the original European measurements (in brackets).

Yield: Serves 6-12.

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE APRICOT PURéE:

  • 1 2/3 cup dried apricots (250 g)
  • 1 cup water (250 g)
  • 1 scant cup jelly sugar (geleisuiker), see Tips, (175 g)
  • 1 scant cup granulated sugar (175 g)
  • FOR THE SPONGE CAKE (kapsel):

  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (5 g)
  • 1 cup flour (90 g)
  • 3 tsp cornstarch (corn flour/maizena), (10 g)
  • FOR THE SUGARED ALMOND FLAKES (optional):

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1 cup shaved almonds (100 g)
  • 1 egg (you will need 1/2 of the egg white only)
  • FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream (500 g)
  • 1/4 cup superfine (castor) sugar (50 g)
  • TO DECORATE

  • Fresh fruit of your choice
  • Sugared almond flakes (optional)

Preparation:

TO MAKE THE APRICOT PURéE: Soak the apricots in the water for at least one hour. Add the jelly sugar and granulated sugar and bring to the boil. Allow to cook for 2 minutes and purée smooth. If too thick, thin with a few drops of water.

TO MAKE THE SPONGE CAKE (kapsel): Preheat the oven to 356 degrees F (180 degrees C). Whisk the eggs, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a double boiler until light and fluffy. Sieve the flour and cornstarch and fold into the mixture. Grease a cake tin measuring 10 x 2-inches (25 x 5cm) with butter and pour the batter into it. Bake the cake for 25 minutes (or until an inserted skewer comes out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cake rack. Once cooled, cut the sponge cake (horizontally) into three even layers.

TO MAKE THE SUGARED ALMONDS (optional): Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C). Combine the almond flakes, sugar and egg white. Spread on a greased baking sheet and toast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool.

TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: In a clean bowl, whip the cream and sugar until it forms stiff peaks.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Slather the bottom layer of the cake with a thick covering of freshly whipped cream. Cover with a layer of fresh fruit. Now place the second layer of cake on top. Brush this cake layer with about 2/3 cup (150 g) of the apricot purée. Place the final cake layer on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream. Using a pastry bag with a large star nozzle, decorate the top of the cake with piped rosettes of the remaining cream and fresh fruit, and the sides of the cake with the toasted almond flakes.

Karin's Tips:

  • Jelly sugar (also called jellifying sugar, jam sugar or gelling sugar, preserving sugar or geleisuiker in Dutch), is granulated sugar that contains (fruit) pectin and citric or tartaric acid. It is often used for making jellies/ jams. If you can't find it, make your own jelly sugar by adding powdered pectin to regular granulated sugar, or order geleisuiker from websites that sell Dutch groceries.
  • Buy good quality ready made sponge cake and shop-bought apricot purée instead if you're short on time. I am going to be bossy here and insist that you use freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit, however.
  • Where I've indicated 'a scant cup', measure a level cup at the very most - the measurement was actually slightly less than a cup.
  • A serrated bread knife will come in handy when cutting the cake into even layers.
  • The basic sponge cake recipe used here can also be relied on for other cakes, such as mocha cake and as a base for desserts like trifles (try using it for my Tokkelroom trifle recipe).
  • Decorate the cake with fresh fruit, nuts or store-bought chocolate decorations, or make your own chocolate cake decorations, such as chocolate roses or chocolate leaves.
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