• 4 hours
  • Medium


For the dough
100 g of Type 00 common wheat flour
75 ml of whole milk
75 ml of water
75 g of butter
10 g of sugar
5 g of salt
Seeds of one vanilla pod
170 g of large eggs at room temperature

For the cream
600 ml of whole milk
160+15 g of granulated sugar
50 g of cornstarch
Exhausted vanilla seeds
4 large egg yolks
200 g of butter at room temperature
Icing sugar for decoration

For the dough
First preheat the oven, setting it to 200°C in static mode. Line the bottom of two 23-cm hinged baking pans with baking paper, then go ahead and grease the sides with butter or cooking spray. If you only have one hinged mould available, you will need to prepare and bake one layer of the cake at a time. Separately, pour the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract into a saucepan, and place it on the stove over medium heat. Stir everything until it comes close to a boil, then momentarily remove from the heat to add the sifted flour.
Return to the heat, lowering the flame, and work the mixture at a steady pace with a rubber or wooden spatula for about 2 minutes, until dry or until you have obtained a firm ball of dough. At this point place it in the bowl of a planetary mixer and let it cool for about 10 minutes to bring it to a temperature of about 55°/60°C. After attaching a flat or rubberized whisk to the planetary mixer, add one egg yolk at a time to the mixture, letting them incorporate well: the ideal dough to be obtained should be glossy and thick, able to fall slowly from a spatula.
Now divide the dough into the two pans (about 230 g per mould) and, with a spatula, sketch out a level without worrying about doing it precisely: irregularities in the spreading will generate ripples on the surface during baking, and it is precisely these that make Karpatka such a distinctive cake!
If you are using a single, hinged mould, cover the second layer of the cake with foil and bake the first, letting it bake for about 20-22 minutes.
Once you have a dark, even golden colour on the surface, take it out of the oven and, before removing the cake bases from the moulds, let them cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes.
For the cream
Move on to the filling: pour the milk, 80 g of sugar and the vanilla pod into a saucepan, and bring to a boil over moderate heat.
Separately, beat the egg yolks in a heat-resistant bowl, add the remaining 80 g of sugar and the sifted cornstarch, and proceed to mix everything well. Now add the egg mixture to the saucepan containing the milk and, still over low heat, wait for the milk to rise to the surface, creating bubbles. At this point, equip yourself with a whisk and start working vigorously to avoid the appearance of lumps, until the cream has reached a smooth consistency. Then remove from the heat and, with the help of a whisk, stir again to obtain a glossy cream; pour the mixture into a large, previously cooled baking dish, cover it with baking paper and let it rest in the refrigerator. In the meantime, mix the soft butter with the remaining 15 g of sugar in a planetary mixer fitted with a whisk (alternatively, you can use an electric beater) to obtain a white, frothy mixture. Take the cream, which you have brought to room temperature, and knead it lightly to make it smooth, soft and ready to use.
Now incorporate the butter and a couple of tablespoons of custard at a time, and mix on medium speed until it is all well blended.
Assembling the cake
Take a serving dish and lay on it the clean ring of one of the two moulds you previously used for baking the bases. After lining it with baking paper or a strip of acetate, place the layer of cake inside it with the least ripples on the surface and press lightly to flatten it. Then pour the custard over the base of the cake, level it well with a spatula and cover it with the second disk, pressing again to assemble it with the rest of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or until the custard has firmed up again, and serve with plenty of powdered sugar.
Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can make the choux pastry in advance and store it, cooked, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

In collaboration with L'Ultima Fetta

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