Genoa Bread (Pain de Gênes) (see note)
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar while whisking until firm peaks form. Divide the meringue between 3 bowls. Add a different food colouring to each bowl. Mix well until the colours are vibrant.
- Using a spatula, spread the 3 colours of meringue out side by side on the prepared baking sheet, without letting them touch each other.
- Bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry and easily detach from the silicone mat or parchment paper. Turn off the oven and continue drying for 2 hours, keeping the oven door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. The meringues will keep for 3 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature separated by sheets of parchment paper.
Genoa Bread (Pain de Gênes)
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20 cm) straight-sided square pan. Line with parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the ground almonds and almond liqueur. Mix well. Add the eggs one at a time whisking until smooth between each addition. With the machine running on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Divide the batter between 2 bowls. Add a different food colouring to each bowl. Mix well until the colours are vibrant.
- Pour one batter into the prepared pan. Pour in the second batter in 4 straight parallel lines. Using a small spoon, make small circular movements to blend the two colours of batter to achieve a marbled effect.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool. Unmould and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
- On a work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the almond paste to get a 9-inch (23 cm) square about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.
- Spread 3 tbsp (45 ml) of the melted white chocolate over the cake. Cover with the almond paste, pressing to adhere to the cake. Cut the sides of the cake slightly to even them out. Cut the cake into 36 identical 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
- Break the colourful meringues into small pieces, setting aside any leftover meringue for another use.
- Dip each cube of cake in the remaining white chocolate. Place on a wire rack to let the excess chocolate drip off. Top with pieces of meringue. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature until the chocolate has set or refrigerate for 15 minutes to help the chocolate set faster.
Unlike Genoese sponge cake, Genoa Bread is a dense, soft cake made with butter and a large quantity of almonds.