A blitz torte--or "lightning cake," roughly translated--is a German-American layer cake. This cake has buttery, almost cookie-like cake layers, creamy orange curd filling and a crisp meringue decorated with crunchy almonds. Though it looks impressive, the cake is relatively cheap to make with only a handful of ingredients: Egg whites are used in the meringue, while the yolks go in the cake; both the zest and juice from a single orange flavor the curd. The rest is just flour, sugar, salted (regular) butter and a splash of vanilla. Serve this beautiful cake for any special occasion. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2020

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Ingredients

Meringue
Cake
Orange Curd Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans (see Equipment Tip).

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  • To prepare meringue: Wipe a bit of vinegar over the whisk attachment and mixing bowl of a stand mixer to ensure it's completely clean and free from any lingering fat residue. (Alternatively, you can use a handheld electric mixer.) Add egg whites to the bowl, making sure there's no yolk; beat on low speed until they bubble and begin to froth. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until they are foamy and doubled in size. With the mixer running, gradually add 1 cup sugar, 1 heaping teaspoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added, turn off the mixer and give the sides of the bowl a quick scrape. Then beat on medium-high until the meringue is smooth and glossy with stiff peaks. Add vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar; beat until just incorporated. Transfer the meringue to a clean bowl and set aside.

  • To prepare cake: Swap out or rinse your mixing bowl and switch the mixer's whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.

  • With the mixer on medium speed, beat 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and creamy. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each. Add milk; scrape the sides of the bowl, if necessary. (It's OK if the batter curdles a little.) With the mixer running, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. The batter will be thick and sticky, like a soft cookie dough.

  • Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Sprinkle some flour over the top and use your fingers to press the batter evenly across the bottom of the pans. If the batter sticks to your fingers, add more flour. The layer will be quite thin and should not be sticky.

  • Divide the meringue and spread half on top of each cake layer, smoothing out the tops. Sprinkle 1/2 cup almonds over the top of each meringue.

  • Just before you place the cakes in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake the cakes for 25 minutes, taking care not to open the oven while they bake.

  • Meanwhile, prepare orange curd: Zest and juice orange, setting the zest aside for later (you should have 1/4 cup juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons zest; reserve any extra for another use). Beat butter and sugar with the mixer on medium speed until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each. Add the orange juice and mix until combined. (The mixture may curdle, but it will smooth out as it cooks.)

  • Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water (see Tip); cook, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Set aside to cool.

  • When the cakes have baked for 25 minutes, turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the cakes in the gradually cooling oven for 10 minutes, then let cool in the pans on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes more.

  • When you're ready to assemble the torte, gently remove the cake layers from the pans (almond-side up). Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread the cooled orange curd on top, then carefully place the second layer on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Tips

To make ahead: Refrigerate the orange curd (Steps 8-9) in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before assembling the cake. Refrigerate the finished cake, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Equipment: Two 9-inch aluminum or stainless-steel (not nonstick) cake pans or cheesecake pans with straight sides and removable bottoms. Alternatively, use springform pans (make sure they're not nonstick), or use disposable 9-inch foil pie pans and carefully cut and peel the edges away to remove the baked cakes.

Tip: To improvise a double boiler, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Then set a medium or large metal bowl over the simmering water. Allow at least 1 inch of space between the water and the bottom of the bowl.

Nutrition Facts

446 calories; 15.3 g total fat; 8.6 g saturated fat; 169 mg cholesterol; 355 mg sodium. 103 mg potassium; 71.4 g carbohydrates; 0.6 g fiber; 54 g sugar; 7.2 g protein; 568 IU vitamin a iu; 4 mg vitamin c; 83 mcg folate; 150 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 11 mg magnesium; 52 g added sugar;

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