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Japonaise (almond Meringue) Torte

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“Japonaise? No, not Japanese mayonnaise lol. This is a wonderful cake made of discs of almond meringue sandwiched together with a coffee-flavored butter cream. It was popular when I was a child growing up in Australia and, happily, I recently discovered this recipe which originally appeared in a Vogue Entertaining magazine. It is not at all difficult, and is best made a day in advance and refrigerated until just before serving. Very rich!!”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 14 cups ground almonds
  • 14 cup superfine sugar
  • 14 cup cornstarch
  • 5 egg whites
  • 23 cup superfine sugar, extra
  • For Coffee Butter Cream
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 34 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coffee extract
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • 8 ounces cold butter
  • To Decorate
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted lightly
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour 3 baking trays, or line them with baking paper, and mark each with an 8" circle.
  3. Place ground almonds, superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, mix together, and set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a small bowl until they form soft peaks.
  5. Gradually add the extra superfine sugar, and continue beating until the mixture resembles uncooked meringue.
  6. Carefully fold the almond mixture, that was set aside, into the meringue.
  7. Spread meringue mixture on to each of the 3 trays inside the marked circles, or use a piping bag with a 1/2" nozzle to pipe a spiral within each circle.
  8. Place two of the trays on the centre shelf of the oven and the third on the shelf below.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until meringue is a pale, golden colour- if necessary move the bottom tray to the centre shelf and cook a further 5 minutes.
  10. Allow the trays to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before loosening the meringues with a large spatula- do not remove meringues from trays until they have completely cooled.
  11. For the coffee butter cream- bring the sugar and water to the boil in a small pan, then reduce heat and simmer until the syrup thickens.
  12. Remove from heat and add the coffee essence, and stir briefly to combine.
  13. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and, beating continuously with an electric mixer, add the coffee syrup.
  14. While continuing to beat, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is all amalgamated.
  15. Taste, and add more coffee essence if desired.
  16. Cool the butter cream in the refrigerator until it reaches spreading consistency.
  17. To assemble the torte, place one meringue layer on a serving platter and spread with some butter cream.
  18. Place second meringue on top, spread with butter cream, and repeat with the third meringue.
  19. Cover the top of torte, and the side, with remaining butter cream.
  20. Sprinkle toasted almond flakes all over, to decorate, then place in refrigerator until 10 to 15 minutes before serving time, preferably overnight.
  21. Dust top with powdered sugar to serve.

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