Torta Rogel is not for the faint-hearted! It’s very sweet and rich. If you use ready-made pastry, it’s not nearly as intimidating to make as it looks. Just think rustic and all will be fine.
- 4 25-cm (10 in) squares good-quality shortcrust pastry
- 550 g (1 lb 3 oz/2 cups) Dulce de leche (recipe here)
- 145 g (5 oz/²∕³ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line one large or two small baking trays with baking paper. (You will need to cook the pastry in batches.) Cut a 22-cm (8¾ in) disc from each sheet of pastry.
2. Working in batches, transfer the discs to the baking trays and bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then repeat with the remaining pastry discs.
3. Place a cooked pastry disc on a serving plate. Spread one-third of the dulce de leche over the pastry, then repeat with two more pastry discs and the remaining dulce de leche. Place the last pastry disc on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
4. To make the Italian meringue, combine the sugar and 80 ml (2½ fl oz/¹⁄³ cup) water in a small saucepan over medium heat. As the sugar starts to dissolve, gently swirl the pan to help it cook evenly. When the sugar starts to bubble, cook for 2–3 minutes, until you have a clear syrup. Remove the syrup from the heat before it develops any colour. Set aside.
5. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a very clean and dry bowl, until the whites are bright white and holding their peaks. Continue to beat and slowly pour in the hot syrup until well combined and the meringue is very thick.
6. Preheat a grill (broiler) to high. Spoon the meringue over the reserved pastry disc. Use the back of a spoon or a palette knife to create swirls and peaks. Cook under the hot grill until the meringue is golden. Using a spatula, carefully place the pastry and meringue on top of the rogel. Use a large serrated knife to cut into thin slices and serve.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99