An impressive layered cake served with honey-balsamic strawberries, perfect for entertaining. The rich, satisfying taste improves when it's made ahead.
Butter and all-purpose flour for springform pan
6 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cold water
Finely grated zest of one orange
Filling & Cake Dusting
125 g cream cheese, softened
225 g (half a 450 g tub) ricotta cheese
2 tbsp hazelnut-chocolate spread (like Nutella)
1 tsp orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier (optional)
1 tsp almond or hazelnut liqueur such as Amaretto or Frangelico (optional)
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup chocolate chips, preferably minis
Icing sugar for dusting
1 lb. strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp liquid honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.
Step 3: Separate egg whites and yolks into two large bowls. Add pinch of salt to egg whites, beat until white and foamy. On medium speed, gradually beat in 1 cup sugar just to soft peaks. Do not overbeat to stiff peaks. Set aside.
Step 4: Beat egg yolks with remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and almond extracts and cold water until smooth. Stir in orange zest. Mixture will be thick and sticky. Fold yolk mixture into egg whites.
Step 5: Spread in prepared springform pan. Bake on middle rack of oven about 35 minutes, until top is golden and skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool completely before opening sides of pan. Cake will settle to a flat or slightly dipped top.
Step 6: To make filling, beat cream cheese, ricotta, hazelnut-chocolate spread, orange and hazelnut liqueur, if using, until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
Step 7: Unmould cooled cake from sides of pan. Slice in half crosswise. Carefully peel cake from pan bottom. Set cake bottom on piece of parchment paper set on plate (the parchment allows cake to slide onto serving platter or decorative plate later if desired). Spread cake bottom with filling. Chill briefly to firm up filling, if necessary, before replacing top half of cake. Cover cake completely with plastic wrap and chill until serving time.
Step 8: For the honey-balsamic strawberries, gently stir together ingredients in small serving bowl. Chill until serving time.
Step 9: Dust top with icing sugar just before serving. Serve with honey-balsamic strawberries on the side.