My dear aunty Clare always made this divine cake for special family events.
Then I took over this tradition. A few years ago I was looking in my recipe notebook for a cake for Passover, and there it was the perfect one, my favorite Shant-éclair.
I think the name of the cake came because the filling is the same pastry cream as in éclairs.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees..1. Carefully separate the eggs while they are cold into two bowls.2. Set the bowl with egg whites and lemon juice over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until it is warm to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the simmering water).3. Take off the bowl and continue whisking until soft peaks form.4. Add vanilla, gradually add sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.5. In a separate bowl combine the walnuts and lemon zest.6. Gently fold in the fluffy egg whites in four additions.7. Divide the batter in 3 equal portions.
Bake on buttered parchment paper in a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, or turn a cake pan upside down and bake on the top. Check on the crusts, do not let them get to dark, they bake very fast. (6 to 8 minutes)
Ingredients for the Pastry Cream:
Directions for the Pastry Cream: 1. In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, vanilla, and 1 cup sugar. Scald the mixture and immediately remove from heat.
2. Beat egg yolks with remaining 1cup sugar until thick. Sprinkle in cornstarch and continue beating until mixed.
3. Slowly beat half of the hot milk into yolk mixture.
4. Return this to the remaining hot milk and bring to a boil quickly, whisking very fast to prevent scorching.
5. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl to cool. Stir in butter.
6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.
7. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely.
Cover layers of the cake with the pastry cream.
Finish the cake with a beautiful decoration of chocolate glaze. (Ganache)
1. Bring to a simmer ½ cup of heavy cream.
2. Pour over 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (chopped) and 1 teaspoon of Instant coffee, mix until smooth and shiny.
3. Stir in 3 tablespoons of cold butter and 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur or 1 teaspoon pure orange extract.
For Passover I substitute the milk with Almond Milk and the butter with good quality margarine for the Pastry Cream. For the Ganache heavy cream with freshly squeezed orange juice.