- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 cups maple sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (preferably amber syrup for its rich flavour)
- 1 1/2 cups maple syrup (preferably dark syrup for its robust flavour)
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup salted butter, cubed and softened
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Butter two 20 cm (8 in) regular or hinged pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, egg yolks, maple sugar, and vanilla essence at medium-high speed for about 4 minutes or until it’s creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the almond milk and sparkling water. At low speed, add the dry ingredients and egg mixture, alternating between them. Spread the dough into the pans, and bake for 50 minutes in the centre of the oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a rack. Take the cakes out of the pans and brush them with maple syrup. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 115°C (240°F). (If not using a thermometer, boil the syrup until large pale bubbles appear. Reduce heat to medium and allow to boil without stirring until small dark bubbles form.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Pour in the hot maple syrup in a thin stream, continuing to beat rapidly until it’s completely cooled, about 15 minutes. Add the butter, 1 or 2 cubes at a time, beating to obtain a very smooth butter cream.
- Place one cake on a stand and apply a layer of butter cream. Put the other cake on top and repeat with the cream. Garnish as desired.
Note: To achieve the spectacular effect seen in the photo, make two portions of the cake recipe and one of the butter cream. When ready to assemble, put the first cake on the stand and apply the cream. Repeat with successive layers of cake and cream. Spread the remaining cream on and around the whole cake. Use a spatula to shape the contours, leaving spaces in the cream on the sides so the layers can be seen.