Esterházy Torte


#Daring Baker's Challenge January 2015

I had the pleasure of hosting this month Daring Bakers challenge and would like to thank all the bakers who took the challenge - it's been a privilege sharing this experience with you!

I thought that it would be appropriate to start this year with a celebration cake and the obvious choice for me was the Esterházy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream, the cake I consider to be the best ever made. It comes from the World famous Austro - Hungarian kitchen and has a piece of history behind it as it was named after  Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha (1786–1866), a member of the Esterházy dynasty and diplomat of the Austrian Empire and invented by Budapest confectioners in the late 19th century .

At the same time I wanted to take my fellow bakers to a place where this beautiful blogging adventure started for me two years ago when I stumbled upon a blog with a recipe for this cake. That was not an ordinary recipe, but one so full of details and pictures, I had felt that it was made and written with great love and passion. That very moment the desire to create something similar, my way, was born, so was my blog a couple of months later.  
You can reach the blog following the link below:

I haven't changed  a single thing and the recipe that follows is pretty much the copy of the original one :

Esterházy Cake


12 large egg whites
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9 oz) (250 gm) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons (2/3 oz) (20 gm) vanilla sugar
2½ cups (9 oz) (250 gm) ground hazelnuts
2/3 cup (2¾ oz) (80 gm) plain (all purpose) flour

12 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9 oz) (250 gm) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons (2/3 oz) (20 gm) vanilla sugar
1 -1/3 cups (10½ oz) (300 gm) butter at room temperature
1½ cups (5-1/3 oz)(150 gm) toasted ground hazelnuts

around 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1-2/3 oz) (45 gm) apricot jam
1 teaspoon (5 ml) water

2½ to 3¼ cups (10-2/3 to 14 oz) (300-400 gm) icing (powdered) (confectioners') sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sunflower oil
3-4 teaspoons (15-20 ml) lemon juice
around 4 tablespoons (60 ml) hot water

¼ cup (1¾ oz) (50 gm) dark chocolate
1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil
¾ cup (3½ oz) (
100 gm) roughly chopped hazelnuts


Place the hazelnuts on an oven tray in a cold oven, increase the temperature to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, and bake until a nice aroma starts to come out of the oven and the nuts have become darker.

Continue until their skins almost turn black or dark brown and the hazelnut 'meat' becomes a caramel colour. You will need to watch the oven carefully since the nuts can easily burn. From time to time, just open the oven and carefully try one to see if the centre is nice and crispy, but be careful not to burn yourself. It should take about 15-25 minutes.

This baking process brings out the aroma of the hazelnuts needed for the cake. (If you are using almonds instead of hazelnuts, they need to stay white. Hazelnuts are not good in this cake if their aroma is not present.)

Let them cool.

Divide them into 2 batches of 250g and 150g, first for the dacquoise layers, latter for the filling.


With an electric mixer beat the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar and vanilla sugar for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add in the hazelnuts mixed with the flour and beat until just combined.

Cut baking paper into five squares large enough to draw a circle of 10 inch (25cm) in diameter on the squares.

Turn the paper over and place one piece onto an up-side down oven tray and delicately spoon inside the circle one-fifth of the beaten egg white mixture.

Place the tray into a preheated moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3  oven and bake for 14 minutes. It will look soft but that is how we want them. Your finger should not stick to the layer when you touch it.

Take the layer out together with the paper and place on an even surface

 Cool the oven tray and repeat with the next 4 layers. It is important that the up-side down oven tray is cool when you start to bake the layers.

If you have a 10 inch (25cm) diameter spring form pan with a removable bottom just cut out five pieces of baking paper to fit the bottom and spoon the mixture in the pan.

Make sure to cool the bottom of the pan after removing each layer and before placing the egg white mixture for the next layer into it.

Place all the layers next to each other.


The filling is cooked in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler just take two pots so that the smaller one fits perfectly in the larger one and there is no gap between them.

Fill the larger pot with about 1-inch (2 cm) water place on the stove and bring the water to a slow boil, the water should not touch the smaller pot bottom.

Beat the egg yolks and the sugar with an electric mixer in the smaller pot for 30 seconds. Place the smaller pot into the larger one and cook for 14-15 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes for a short while with a wooden spoon always scraping the sides and the bottom. Stir constantly, near the end.

Let the filling cool.

Beat the cooked yolks for 30 seconds with an electric mixer.

Beat the room temperature butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy then beat into the cooked yolks.

Add in the ground hazelnuts and beat again until combined.

Set aside 2 tablespoons of the filling to spread around the torte at the end.

Divide the rest of the filling into 4 cups.

Line a large tray with some baking paper.

Remove the baking paper from one of the dacquoise and place it onto the tray, spread one quantity of filing evenly over the dacquoise, then place another layer on the top.

Repeat, making sure that the last layer is placed bottom-side-up (do not place filling on this surface) which will make it easier to obtain a smooth looking finish.

Place some baking paper over the torte. Press a bit with your hands to even it out, put another tray over the torte and now place something heavy on the top to allow the torte to level up. A pan half-filled with water will be fine.

Place the whole torte with the pot in the fridge for one hour.

Heat the apricot jam and water on the stove.

Remove the top baking paper from the torte and spread the jam on top of it. We want a very thin layer, just barely covering the torte.

Place the torte back in the fridge for 30 minutes for the jam to cool.

When the 30 minutes is up, spread the 2 tablespoons of reserved hazelnut filling around the cake.

By hand mix the powdered (icing) (confectioners') sugar, oil, lemon juice while adding teaspoon by teaspoon of hot water until the mixture is creamy, but not runny. Mix vigorously for a couple of minutes. The sugar should be lemony.

With a hot wet large knife quickly spread the icing over the apricot layer.

You will need around 2½ to 3¼ cups of powdered sugar but it is better to have more than less, since when you start spreading you cannot go back. You will have some left over icing. If it is a bit uneven just turn on the hair dryer and heat the icing so it will smooth

Before starting with the icing have the chocolate ready since it needs to go onto the soft icing in order to get the web.

Melt the chocolate with a teaspoon of oil, place in a piping bag, or a plastic bag with a cut in the corner that will act as the tip.

Draw four (4) concentric chocolate circles onto the cake, then with a toothpick or a wooden skewer run lines on the cake surface, as you are marking the slices (12 slices) one line running away from you to the centre, then one  from the centre towards you, then away and so on. Alternatively, after drawing the circles, draw the lines to divide the cake into quarters, then do up and down motion in between those main lines. Every quarter could be further divided into thirds. Press the remaining crushed hazelnuts around the cake.
Leave the cake refrigerated for at least 24 hours before serving. This is a sort of cake that gets better as times goes by. It will remain fresh under the dome for a week, maybe even longer.

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  1. Oh my goodness; what a description and what a great cake!

  2. A very long one indeed! But we love it so much, I make it for special occasions, every year:)

  3. Jelena, Thank so much for this very wonderful Daring Bakers Challenge. It wasn't easy, but I enjoyed every second making this cake. Although, my favorite part was eating it. It is so delicious! A new favorite!
    ~Liz (Project Pastry Love)

  4. Jelena wonderful challenge. Loved it though would have preferred that mine looked prettier :-)

  5. Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for taking part, it has been a real privilege baking with you guys, such a great community:)

  6. Thanks Sunita, it just takes a bit of practice. Don't worry about it:)

  7. Divno ti je uspjela, baš sam se razveselila kada sam vidjela da si ti ovomjesečna domačica DB-a.

  8. Jelena, your photos are beautiful! Thanks for the great challenge. One day I'll make it again and it will look like an Esterhazy Torte should!

  9. Thank you Susan, I am sure it will. It's been real pleasure baking with you:)

  10. Thank you for this challenge, Jelena! Learned a lot from it, for example the buttercream doesn't scare me anymore :)).

  11. Ova torta je zaista pravi izazov, ali se zato krajnji rezultat isplati. Torta mi vec duze vreme stoji na listi koju cu ja naravno jednog dana da isprobam :)) U svakom slucaju ti si je majstorski napravila i verujem da ces biti odlicna domacica DB-a. Sve cestitke!

  12. I'm so sorry I couldn't participate my daughter got ill and I didn't find the time to bake the cake. But I will bake it soon.
    Yours looks delicious!!

  13. Hi Jelena! Thank you for hosting! I loved this cake. When I make it next time I hope to get a professional looking spider web just like yours! Great instructions and easy to follow!

  14. Sve cestitke, ne mogu zamisliti lepsi (i ukusniji:) zadatak... srecno svim ucesnicima i tebi, kao domacici meseca.:))) p.s. tortica je san snova.:)))

  15. Mada sam bila uvjerena da ću ju napraviti, bila sam bolesna i nikako nisam stigla, a baš mi je krivo. Pogotovo zato što si ti bila domaćica ovog kruga. Tortu ću sigurno napraviti nekom drugom prilikom

  16. Thanks for the wonderful challenge. my cake did not look as pretty as yours but it tastes heavenly.

  17. Discovered your blog through Domestic Gothess in the UK. Loving it! Can't wait to read more and look through your recipe archive – beautiful!

  18. Jelena, thank you so much for a wonderful challenge. I gave myself a whole day to do it, so I could take my time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We thoroughly enjoyed eating it too. The last piece went last night, and I miss it already!

  19. Oh, I forgot to say - your cake looks stunning!

  20. Thank you so much for this month's challenge...I did make this wonderful cake and shared with family members as I was travelling so didn't get to taste it :( as I just left to the airport right after dropping it off at my parents house...they enjoyed it very much and as I was so busy didn't have the chance to take a picture of will do it again for sure and share the picture with the daring bakers forum...Thank you again