There are 20 layers or more to this cake. The cake is refrigeratated overnight.
Start early in the morning...this is a long process.
All the ingredients should be at room temp.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste with half and half, one tablespoon at a time. It will resemble mashed potatoes when you’re done.
Next, beat in softened butter until fluffy, scraping the bowl to make sure its all mixed in.
Next, beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides.
Next, incorporate the yolks, one at a time
Add the vanilla.
Next, sift in the flour and cornstarch in thirds. Beat until well incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.
Next, beat the egg whites until they make stiff peaks, but aren’t dry.
Fold the egg whites into the batter gently.
How to bake the cake:
Turn on your BROILER. Yes, I said BROILER! Let is heat up a tad.
Brush with butter and line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. Use more of butter then you think you need.
Roll like a crepe around the pan with 1/4 cup of batter evenly in the bottom of the pan.
I rolled the pan, like I do for crepes. Just make sure you are holding the cake pan with two pot holders.
Broil this layer until deep golden brown. Do not take out of pan. Add then another thin layer of batter on top. Roll again like for a crepe. Broil again till brown, but not burnt.
Then, add another 1/4 cup batter. Roll again like a crepe till it is even. Broil as before.
Each layer should be a little darker then the others.
And each layer should be totally flat.
After repeating these steps a few times, spread a layer with a bit of jam with a little rum mixed in. Continue making a few layers of cake to every layer of jam, until half the jam is used up.
I brushed dark rum on top off every 3rd layer before adding the batter.
Repeat same process until you have 20 layer or more.
The next day. Spread the top and sides of cake with the jam. Set in refrigerator while making chocolate glaze.
TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add Lyles Golden syrup, vanilla extract and rum. Simmer a few minutes to let the ingredients merge well.
Remove from heat and toss in the chocolate and let chocolate melt.
Stir the glaze until glossy and pour center of top and push down the sides of cake.
Press finely chopped slightly roasted almonds over the sides and outer edge of cake. Refrigerate to set.
Update: Adjust broiler rack so the top of pan is about 1 inch from broiler and the bottom of the pan is 5-6 inches from the heat. Each layer should be a different color...from a light golden brown to a dark brown (but not burnt). This is what gives it the look of rings of a tree, each time you broil a layer..the whole top will not be the same color. You will get spots some a little darker and some lighter.
Here's another helpful hint. I don't use a brush to push the batter around. I pick up the pan and roll the dough making sure it gets to the edges like you do crepes in a pan. It also helps to make the batter evenly distributed so you have no doming.
Another helpful hint. Heat your jam in a double boiler and keep it warm. It will spread so much easier.