This is baked in a plain ring or savarin mould.
130 g (4 1/2 oz) butter
140 g (5 oz) caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
10 g (2 tsp) lemon zest
10 ml (2 tsp) rum
100 g (3 1/2 oz) plain flour
100 g (3 1/2 oz) potato flour
5 g (1 tsp) baking powder
2 portions vanilla Buttercream (cooled) plus 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
50 g (2 oz) granulated sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) water
50 g (2 oz) flaked or chopped toasted almonds
90 ml (6 tbsp) rum, kirsch or Grand Marnier
glace cherries and pistachio nuts for decoration
1. Beat the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Whisk in the egg a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
2. Mix in the lemon zest and rum. Sift together the flours with the baking powder two or three times, then beat them into the egg mixture in three stages.
3. The mixture should be quite firm but not stiff.
4. Turn it into the buttered ring mould and smooth level.
5. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 45 minutes until well risen and brown and shrinking slightly from the edges of the tin. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Let the cake rest overnight if possible.
6. Prepare the buttercream and beat in the additional butter before combining it with the cooked buttercream.
7. To make the praline croquant boil the water and sugar to form a caramel. Drop in the almonds and stir lightly to coat them with the sugar. When the mixture starts to boil, pour on to an oiled baking sheet, smooth out and leave to cool. Break the praline into pieces and chop or pound into a coarse powder.
8. Assemble the cake. Split the cake into four layers and brush a little alcohol on each.
9. Reserve 45 ml (3 tbsp) buttercream and sandwich all the layers together with the buttercream covering the top and sides also.
10. Sprinkle the crushed croquant all over the cake. Pipe a few rosettes on the top and decorate with cherries and pistachios.
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