|1¾ cup||Whole almonds|
|1 cup||Egg whites|
|2 teaspoons||Vanilla extract|
|½ teaspoon||Almond extract|
|½ cup||Toasted sliced almonds for finishing|
|½ teaspoon||Lemon juice|
|2 tablespoons||Grated orange zest|
|1½ cup||Unsalted butter|
|½ cup||Orange juice|
|⅔ cup||Apricot preserves|
ALMOND MERINGUE LAYERS
GLAZED ORANGE SLICES
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F. For the meringue layers, pulse the almonds in the food processor until coarsely ground. Place them on a baking pan and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden. Cool and combine with the sugar and cornstarch. Reduce oven to 300F. Whip the egg whites on medium speed with the salt until white and opaque. Increase speed to maximum and whip in remaining sugar. Continue whipping until egg whites hold a firm peak. Fold in extracts and toasted almond mixture. Pipe batter on paper-lined pans with a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tube to make three 10-inch disks. Bake at 300F about 30 minutes, until crisp but not completely dry. Cool layers on pans. FOR THE FILLING, place the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir well to combine. Place on medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Add the milk carefully (the caramel will splatter) and return to a boil, stirring to dissolve any hardened caramel. Whisk yolks in a bowl with orange zest and whisk half the boiling milk into them. Return remaining milk to a boil and whisk in yolk mixture, continuing to whisk until thickened. Strain into a bowl and cool. Beat butter with paddle on medium speed until soft and light. Beat in custard cream and beat filling smooth.
FOR THE GLAZED ORANGES, combine the orange juice and gelatin in a bowl.
Bring the apricot preserves to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the orange mixture and return to a boil, reducing slightly. Strain and cool slightly. Halve and slice oranges thinly. Dip orange slices in glaze and place on a pan lined with plastic wrap to set. To assemble, trim layers to an even 10-inch diameter and place one on a cardboard. Spread with ¼ of the filling. Repeat with another layer and another ¼ of the filling.
Top with last layer and mask cake with another ¼ of the filling. Use the remaining filling to make a border of rosettes on the edge of the cake and a circle of rosettes in the center. Press the sliced almonds against the side of the cake and fill in the center circle with them. Arrange orange slices on the rosettes.
NICK MALGIERI - PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK