Esterhazy- Hazelnut Meringue and Custard Buttercream Cake

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Esterhazy is a Hungarian cake made of thin hazelnut meringue (dacquoise) layers and buttercream that has egg yolk syrup as its flavor base. Originally, I believe it was made with almond  flour, but since almonds themselves do not have much flavor, I decided to use hazelnuts instead.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

If you want to, you can even use both flours and make alternating layers as I did in my cake, although I’m not sure that it really made the cake any better than it would have been with just hazelnut flour, so in the recipe I included instructions on how to make all hazelnut layers.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

As much as our family does like anything with nuts, I just couldn’t imagine that the end result would be as good as it was though. The Esterhazy Cake has a very mild, but well balanced flavor. The top glaze on the cake can be made with either lemon juice or milk, but I thought that the tiny bit of sourness from the lemon juice made the cake all that much better by giving it a tiny dose of ‘zing’.
Not surprisingly, the berries, although not originally meant to be there, add a bright note, that I felt was very much needed. All in all, my whole family really enjoyed this combination and even though they usually will give their opinions on how well the flavors work and how a recipe might benefit from one thing or another, this one is perfect and doesn’t need anything else added or taken away. At least in our opinion. Let me know what you think when you make it!

Enjoy!

 

Esterhazy- Hazelnut Meringue and Custard Buttercream Cake

Yield: 8 inch round cake, 8-12 servings

Hazelnut Meringue (Dacquoise)
10 egg whites
2 1/2 cups (275 g) hazelnut flour/meal (or almond)
1 1/4 cup (250g)  granulated sugar

How to make Esterhazy Cake
Preheat oven to 300F with the rack in the middle.
If you do not have ground hazelnut flour, you can use a vegetable chopper to chop them finely.
Using an 8 inch round baking pan, trace a circle around it on parchment paper, cut around it giving about 1 to 2 inches extra. Now repeat it enough to get 10 circles.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Make the Hazelnut Dacquoise

Whip 10 egg whites on high in a thoroughly clean from any grease bowl until frothy. With the mixer still running start to gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar, about one tablespoon at a time. Once the sugar is added, whip the meringue for about 5 minutes.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Now add the hazelnut flour in 2-3 additions, carefully folding after each. Do not fold too much or the batter will deflate and not make proper dacquoise.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Divide the batter between all your parchment circles and spread it within the drawn circle into a very thin layer. Now bake two of the layers at a time, by placing them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes or until slightly golden in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool without removing from the parchment paper. Continue baking all cake layers in this manner.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

If you use almond flour, your batter will be very white without the speckles you see in the batter made with hazelnut flour. 

Roast the sliced almonds:
Spread about 2 cups of sliced almonds on a baking sheet and bake, tossing often in a preheated to 325F oven until slightly golden, about 5-8 minutes. Watch the nuts closely as they go from done to burnt in a matter of seconds. Once roasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!
While the layers are baking, make the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream:

Ingredients for the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream
10 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups (170 grams) powdered sugar
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup (225 ml) milk, boiling hot
2 1/2 sticks butter (1 1/4 cups or 280 grams), room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

How to make the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream
Combine 10 egg yolks with the 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Now add 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and whisk again until no lumps appear. While continuing to whisk, add 1 1/4 cups boiling hot milk into the egg yolk mixture being careful not to add too much at once or the egg yolks will curdle.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!
Add the mixture to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat while vigorously and continuously stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens considerably. As the mixture starts to thicken it will look lumpy, but as you whisk it will smooth out. Cook for about 2-3 minutes past boiling, to rid of the flour taste. Cool to room temperature.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Whip room temperature butter on high for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times. The butter should look pale white in color and very fluffy.
Now in 2-3 additions add the cooled custard to the whipped butter, whipping in between to incorporate. Lastly add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and whip once more to incorporate. Do not whip more than necessary or the buttercream will separate.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

To assemble Esterhazy Cake: 
Place a dab of frosting onto the cake board or platter. Put your first cake layer on top of the dabbed frosting, and now carefully peel off the parchment paper. Top with about two full spoons of frosting and spread around to make an even layer. Do the same with the remaining cake layers and frosting. Do not cover the top layer with frosting.
Do not put too much frosting on each layer or you will not have enough for the sides of the cake in the end. The amount of frosting on each layer will seem like very small amount, but it is enough.
Once done layering the cake, cover the sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Now make the glaze for the top of the cake.

Ingredients for the glaze
1 cup sugar
4-5 tsp lemon juice (if you do not like the lemon flavor, use milk instead)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to make Lemon Glaze
Add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and about 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and stir. If it’s hard to stir add more lemon juice until it’s thick, but spreadable. The glaze should not be too runny or it will run off the cake.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Take away about 2 tablespoons of the glaze and add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Stir. Transfer to a ziplock bag and close. Snip off a corner.
Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Spread the white glaze on top of the cake, coming close to the edges, but trying not to let it go down the sides. Now make a spiral on top of the cake with the chocolate glaze. Next take a knife and make 8 stripes by dragging it from the middle towards the outside. Make 8 more stripes in between the first set by going in the opposite direction, from outside in.
Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

To cover the sides with sliced almonds, take a handful of slices and press them against the sides if you do not care about the design, or take whole petals of almond slices piece by piece and press them against the side of the cake. Looking at the pictures below you can decide how you would like to do it.

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!

Take about 16 oz of raspberries and arrange them along the outside border of the cake.
Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for about an hour or two before placing in the refrigerator and leaving it there for about 12 hours before eating.

Esterhazy - Hazelnut Meringue and Custard Buttercream Cake

Esterhazy - Exceptional Hungarian cake made of Hazelnut Meringue and rich Custard Buttercream | By Let the Baking Begin!
5 from 2 votes
Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Hungarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 inch round cake, 8-12 servings

Ingredients

Hazelnut Meringue (Dacquoise)

  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups 275 g hazelnut flour/meal (or almond)
  • 1 1/2 cup 250 g granulated sugar

Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cups 170 grams powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup 225 ml milk, boiling hot
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter 1 1/4 cups or 280 grams, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 tsp lemon juice if you do not like the lemon flavor, use milk instead
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder for the chocolate colored part

Also

Instructions

Prep

  1. Preheat oven to 300F with the rack in the middle.
  2. If you do not have ground hazelnut flour, you can use a vegetable chopper to chop them finely.
  3. Using a 8 inch round baking pan, trace a circle around it on parchment paper, cut around it giving about 1 to 2 inches extra. Now repeat it enough to get 10 circles.

Make the Hazelnut Dacquoise

  1. Whip 10 egg whites on high in a thoroughly clean from any grease bowl until frothy. With the mixer still running start to gradually add 1 1/4 cup of sugar, about one tablespoon at a time. Once the sugar is added, whip the meringue for about 5 minutes.
  2. Now add the hazelnut flour in 2-3 additions, carefully folding after each. Do not fold too much or the batter will deflate and not make proper dacquoise.
  3. Divide the batter between all your parchment circles and spread it within the drawn circle into a very thin layer. Now bake two of the layers at a time, by placing them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes or until slightly golden in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool without removing from the parchment paper. Continue baking all cake layers in this manner.
  4. If you use almond flour, your batter will be very white without the speckles you see in the batter made with hazelnut flour.

Roast the sliced almonds:

  1. Spread about 2 cups of sliced almonds on a baking sheet and bake, tossing often in a preheated to 325F oven until slightly golden, about 5-8 minutes. Watch the nuts closely as they go from done to burnt in a matter of seconds. Once roasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. While the layers are baking, make the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream

How to make the Egg Yolk Custard Buttercream

  1. Combine 10 egg yolks with the 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Now add 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and whisk again until no lumps appear. While continuing to whisk, add 1 1/4 cups boiling hot milk into the egg yolk mixture being careful not to add too much at once or the egg yolks will curdle.
  2. Add the mixture to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat while vigorously and continuously stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens considerably. As the mixture starts to thicken it will look lumpy, but as you whisk it will smooth out. Cook for about 2-3 minutes past boiling, to rid of the flour taste. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Whip room temperature butter on high for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times. The butter should look pale white in color and very fluffy.
  4. Now in 2-3 additions add the cooled custard to the whipped butter, whipping in between to incorporate. Lastly add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and whip once more to incorporate. Do not whip more than necessary or the buttercream will separate.

To assemble Esterhazy Cake:

  1. Place a dab of frosting onto the cake board or platter. Put your first cake layer on top of the dabbed frosting, and now carefully peel off the parchment paper. Top with about two full spoons of frosting and spread around to make an even layer. Do the same with the remaining cake layers and frosting. Do not cover the top layer with frosting.
  2. Do not put too much frosting on each layer or you will not have enough for the sides of the cake in the end. The amount of frosting on each layer will seem like very small amount, but it is enough.
  3. Once done layering the cake, cover the sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
  4. Now make the glaze for the top of the cake.

How to make Lemon Glaze

  1. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and about 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and stir. If it's hard to stir add more lemon juice until it's thick, but spreadable. The glaze should not be too runny or it will run off the cake.
  2. Take away about 2 tablespoons of the glaze and add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Stir. Transfer to a ziplock bag and close. Snip off a corner.

To Decorate

  1. Spread the white glaze on top of the cake, coming close to the edges, but trying not to let it go down the sides. Now make a spiral on top of the cake with the chocolate glaze. Next take a knife and make 8 stripes by dragging it from the middle towards the outside. Make 8 more stripes in between the first set by going in the opposite direction, from outside in.
  2. To cover the sides with sliced almonds, take a handful of slices and press them against the sides if you do not care about the design, or take whole petals of almond slices piece by peice and press them against the side of the cake. Looking at the pictures below you can decide how you would like to do it.
  3. Take about 16 oz of raspberries and arrange them along the outside border of the cake.
  4. Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for about an hour or two before placing in the refrigerator and leaving it there for about 12 hours before eating.

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

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Comments

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  • Alina

    Hi Marina, I was wandering if I can add the butter to the warm custard and refrigerate it for a while to prevente it from curdleing ?

    · Reply
    • Hi Alina,
      Do not add butter to warm custard or it will melt and become runny. If your custard does start to curdle, you can warm it up a couple seconds at a time in the microwave until it comes together, but do not overheat or it will run and become too runny to fill.

      · Reply
  • Hey Marina! I am currently making this cake. Are the cake layers supposed to be soft instead of crispy?

    Thanks!
    Katy

    · Reply
    • Hi Katy,
      I have made it several times and they sometimes come out soft and sometimes a little crispier. Either way, it’s ok as they will soften up once layered with cream

      · Reply
      • Ok thanks, mine were soft and I was worried it would turn out too mushy and not crispy! But I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        · Reply
        • So I made this 6 hours ago and just cut into a piece. The cake layers are soft, I was expecting more of a meringue crunch with this. But overall it is good! I think I will make the markiza cake instead next time.

          · Reply
          • Hi Katy,
            Yes, in this cake the cake layers are meant to be soft. If you are looking for something more crunchy, Markiza, or Hazelnut Meringue Cake are good ones to try. Thanks for your feedback Katy! Have a good week!

            Marina

  • Nat

    Dont Know what happend, but my korzhi didnt turn out it all have small bubbles , 🙁

    · Reply
    • This usually happens if the egg whites were not whipped enough, or the batter was mixed too much once the nuts were added 🙁

      · Reply
  • Tatyana

    This cake looks and sounds absolutely delicious, so I attempted to make it for Christmas. It did not work ou,t and I followed the recipe exactly and have a lot of experience baking. I can not see what went wrong g exactly.:(

    · Reply
    • Hi Tatyana,
      Would you clarify what exactly did not work out? May be we can troubleshoot it together.

      · Reply
      • Tatyana

        Well, I ground up the hazelnuts myself, as you indicated is possible. When the batter was made, it resembled a meringue moreso than anything – almost like flour was missing (maybe the hazelnuts weren’t fine enough?). But when I stuck them in the oven, they were so sticky and I couldn’t get them off the parchament paper after baking for your recommended time, so I kept the subsequent ones in longer. But when i did that, they were so crunchy and tasted like a meringue and would bake unevenly (crisp on edges and raw in the middle). I may try store bought almond meal next time. What are the layers supposed to be like after baking? Like a cookie, like a meringue, or like a soft cake-like consistency?

        · Reply
  • Natascha

    I will be making this cake for the first time and have scoured the internet trying to find an answer to my question. Would you know how far in advance this cake can be made? You mention letting the cake set for 12 hours prior to serving, but are you aware of how the levels will be affected if baked and assembled 24-36 hours prior to serving? Thank you

    · Reply
    • Ni Natascha,
      You can easily make this cake one to two days ahead. The cake layers are meant to soften as they sit (which is why you want to wait at least 12 hours before serving), so even if it sits a little longer it will not worsen in flavor.

      · Reply
  • Nat

    Can I decorate out side of cake with different frosting, it is ok? Thank you

    · Reply
  • Nat

    Hi. Wanna make this cake, how toll is this cake? Thank you so much

    · Reply
  • Pana

    Hi, Marina. Cake looks amazing. Do you think i can use sugar instead of powdered sugar for egg yolks custard?

    · Reply
    • Hi Pana,
      Yes easily. Just google to see how much that much powdered sugar weighs and use the same amount of granulated sugar in place of it.

      · Reply
  • Natasha

    Hi, Marina. Do you think I could substitute corn starch for flour to make custard so it’s gluten free?

    · Reply
  • Beautiful cake.
    Could you tell me if I can keep the meringue batter waiting at room temperature while baking them two by two.
    I live in a pretty hot country and always have my doubts about leaving food at room temperature mostñy if it is raw.

    Thank you for sharing you expertise and your passion
    Sandra

    · Reply
    • You can bake it two by two, just make sure to spread it on parchment paper as soon as you whip it and then put two at a time into the oven, while leaving the rest on the counter.

      · Reply
  • Natasha @ NATASHA'S KITCHEN

    Those pictures are mouthwatering . What a great way to decorate the cake!

    · Reply
  • Oksana

    Amazing cake. Worth every step. (I used the milk glaze.)

    · Reply
  • Dear Marina, this cake is worth of every single minute of our time 🙂 Thank you and have a pleasant week end !

    · Reply
  • snowflakeslorr

    this is looks so awesome..it is very much my taste :-)..can’t wait to to try it.

    · Reply
  • Yana Stone

    Marina, you are amazing! This is too beautiful to eat! You always do such an excellent work. I am impressed beyond words. Thanks for being so precise and detail-oriented. Your recipes always work.

    · Reply

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