For the Meringue Layers- 6 egg whites- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar- 3/4 cup sugar- 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, finely chopped- 1 teaspoon vanilla extractFor the French Buttercream- 1 1/2 cups sugar- 3/4 cup water- 9 egg yolks- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened at room temperatureFor the Cake- 1 1/2 cups cashews, toasted and chopped
Make the Meringue Layers- In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed for about 1 minute.- Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.- Gradually add sugar while beating continuously until stiff peaks form.- Pour in the vanilla and add about 1/3 of the finely chopped cashews.- Gently fold in using a rubber spatula. Fold the remaining cashews in two more additions.- Invert three 9-inch round cake pans and grease and flour the bottoms.- Scoop equal amounts of the meringue batter on the surface of the prepared pans and using a spatula, spread until smooth and evenly flattened.- Bake the meringue in a 325 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.- Remove from oven and while still hot, use a wide spatula to lift the meringues and transfer to a cooling rack.Make the French Buttercream- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir. Let the mixture boil over medium heat. Once boiling, place a candy thermometer in the pan to monitor the temperature.- Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer on high speed until the mixture starts to thicken and become pale in color. Continue to beat while the sugar/ water mixture cooks in the pan.- Once the temperature of the sugar mixture reaches 238 F, turn the heat off and slowly pour the sugar syrup in a thin, continuous stream into the yolks with the mixer still running.- Continue beating the yolks until the mixing bowl is cool to the touch.- With the mixer still running, add the softened butter, about a tablespoon at a time. Beat until a fluffy buttercream forms.Assemble the Cake- On a serving platter, place one meringue layer. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the meringue and sprinkle with some of the chopped cashews.- Place the second meringue layer on top. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream and sprinkle with cashews.- For the final layer, place the last cake wafer with its bottom side up on top of the buttercream layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.- Garnish the top and sides of the cake with the remaining chopped cashews.- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.