Toasted almond cake

Serves 12

  1. 483g sugar
  2. 1-1/4tsp salt
  3. 255g cake flour
  4. 4tsp baking powder
  5. 33tb butter cut in 1tb pieces, 29 softened and 4 chilled
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 6 egg whites + 5 egg yolks
  8. 3-1/2tsp vanilla extract
  9. 3tb cornstarch
  10. 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  11. 2 cups sliced almonds
  12. 2tb amaretto
  13. 1tsp almond extract
  14. Powdered sugar
  • Mix 347g sugar, 1tsp salt and 3-4. Add 12tb softened butter 1tb at a time and mix until butter is in pea-sized pieces. Whisk together milk, egg whites and 2tsp vanilla extract, add half of mixture and mix until fluffy. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  • Divide into 2 9in cake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway. Cool in tins for 10 minutes. Cool on rack for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, whisk 2tb of remaining sugar, yolks and cornstarch until pale and thickened. Set aside.
  • Simmer 2 cups cream, 6tb of remaining sugar and remaining salt until sugar dissolves. Temper yolk mixture and bring back to a simmer until thickened. Whisk in chilled butter and remaining vanilla. Chill for 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, cook 1tb butter and almonds in a 12in skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  • Bring 1 cup pastry cream to room temperature. Cream remaining softened butter and beat in pastry cream in 3 additions. Beat in amaretto. Set aside.
  • Beat remaining cream to soft peaks. Fold together cream, remaining pastry cream and almond extract. Set aside.
  • Slice rounds in half to make four layers. Spread 1 cup cream-pastry cream mixture over bottom layers and replace tops. Spread remaining mixture over one top and stack. Frost with amaretto-pastry cream mixture and press candied almonds on sides and top of cake. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
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