This cake is one I made to celebrate a cousin’s birthday. I had zero time to pipe some swirls of frosting and so I used phyllo sheets that I cut in triangles in lieu of a polished frosting.
The cake is a sponge cake, cut in the middle horizontally and filled with vanilla ashtaliyeh or custard (in the middle) and chocolate ashtaliyeh on the top. The phyllo triangles are buttered and placed all around the cake in an overlapping fashion; the cake is sent back in the oven for a few minutes until the phyllo layers are golden and crispy.
Cooled for a few minutes, dusted with some powdered sugar and served.
To make the custard or ashtaliyeh, click here. I doubled the quantities and melted sweet chocolate in one half.
The sponge cake is a basic sponge cake made with six eggs, no fat of any kind.
If you would like a detailed recipe, let me know.
Mrs. Knechtle is the owner of a pastry shop in Beirut, La Brioche. She and her husband Alfred who was Swiss, ran it for decades. Now in her mid-nineties and a widow, Mrs Knechtle still maintains La Brioche and opens it for business every day. I hold them both responsible for my acute sweet tooth. I have had more mille-feuilles, éclairs and hot chocolate at their shop than I care to remember.
I had to go there again and check out the place; nothing and I mean nothing had moved. The same Swiss bibelots (knick-knacks) on the shelves, the same hand-written signs, the same benches and chairs. I asked Mrs Knechtle who made the pastries and cakes, since her husband had been the pastry chef. She replied: ” I do it all myself”, pride and towering dignity in her voice. God bless her!
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