***Meringue Japonaise:*** 1/3 cup blanched almonds 1 cup sugar 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 4 egg whites ***Sponge Layer:*** 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons cornstarch 5 tablespoons butter 2 eggs 2 egg yolks 1/4 cup sugar ***Kirsch Syrup:*** 1/3 cup water 3 tablespoons sugar 1/3 cup kirsch ***Butter Cream:*** 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup water 1 cup confectioners sugar 4 egg yolks 1 tablespoon kirsch 1 cup butter, at room temperature ***For Assembly:*** 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds confectioners sugar
To make the Meringue Japonaise layer: Preheat the oven to 275F. Grind the nuts in a food processor with a 1/3 cup sugar. DO NOT make almond butter! Nuts should be light and dry.
Beat egg whites at medium speed to soft peak stage. Add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat at high until sugar is dissolved and the whites are very stiff. Do not under beat! Fold in nut mixture in two portions.
Draw two 9 circles on a piece of parchment laid on a sheet pan. Butter inside the circles. Pipe meringue into concentric circles (or spiral), leaving a 1/4 clearance from the edge, to allow for spreading. Concentric circles of meringues should just barely touch. Bake 30 minutes and reverse pans (top to bottom shelf or front to back). Bake an additional 30 minutes. Meringue should be crisp and slightly brown. Turn off oven and allow meringue to cool down in oven.
To Make the Sponge Layer: Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a 9: springform pan with parchment paper. Butter parchment and pan sides. Dust pan with flour. Beat the eggs and sugar until tripled in volume.
Sift flour and cornstarch together and fold into egg mixture. Melt butter and when cool mix a spoon ful of batter into it. Then mix butter/batter into the bowl of batter.
Pour batter into springform pan. Smooth top. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. When cool, run a knife aroung inside of pan to loosen cake, open springform pan. Transfer cake to a plate/cooling rack and peel off parchment paper, turn upright again on another plate.
To Make the Kirsch Syrup: Put the water and sugar into a pot and stir until sugar is dissolved on medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in kirsch.
To Make the Butter Cream: Put 3/4 cup of water and one cup of sugar into a pot. Heat on medium, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to high and heat to 234F. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks into mixer bowl. Stir in confectionary sugar. When sugar mixture is hot, turn mixer to high and slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup.
Allow butter cream to cool, stir in kirsch. In a separate bowl, whip butter to soften. On medium speed, slowly mix butter into egg/sugar mixture.
To Assemble: Place a meringue japonaise on a 9 cake round. Spread with a layer of buter cream. Place the spong layer on top of the butter cream. Sprinkle the sponge with the Kirsch syrup. Spread butter cream on top of the sponge layer. Next put the second meringue japonaise layer on top of the butter cream. Spread this layer and the sides of the cake with butter cream. Gently press the sliced almonds onto the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectionary sugar. Score a hatch pattern onto the top of the cake.