Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: A little over an hour, including 45 minutes oven time
Oven temperature: 180° C / 350° F
An original idea from Serge Peuzin of the Auberge du Luberon-Peuzon in Apt, France
Making the génoise
- Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of hot water until the mixture doubles in volume;
- remove from the heat and continue beating until the mixture has cooled completely;
- sprinkle the sifted flour over the mixture a little at a time, folding in gently with a spatula;
- butter a cake pan; pour in the batter and bake at 180° C (350° F) for about 25 minutes; remove from the pan immediately and let cool;
- prepare a syrup with 200 g (3/4 c.) sugar and 50 ml (3 tbsp.) water; heat for two minutes and add 100 ml (6 tbsp.) Grand Marnier;
- slice the génoise in half; soak the middle with the syrup.
- Bring the milk to a boil with the half vanilla bean;
- whisk two eggs with 80 g sugar in a bowl until light and pale; add the 35 g cornstarch;
- remove the vanilla bean and mix the hot milk into the egg-sugar-cornstarch mixture little by little, whisking constantly;
- pour the mixture into a saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil;
- remove from the heat; add in the 50 ml Grand Marnier; let cool.
Assembling and finishing the cake
- Cut the candied fruit into small pieces; preheat the oven to 80° C (150° F);
- spread the pastry cream over the bottom half of the génoise; sprinkle with 200 g of the candied fruit; cover with the top half of the cake;
- beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, gradually add in the icing sugar;
- using a flexible spatula, ice the sides and top of the cake with the meringue; place in the oven for 20 minutes;
- once the meringue has cooled, decorate with the remaining candied fruit and serve.
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