Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Almond Joy Layer Cake

Submitted by Linda
It's hard to believe in my life of baking I had never before made a layer cake. Earlier in the summer, I decided I would definitely try my hand at it while I had some time off. I came across a wonderful Rachel Ray recipe, by chance when I was at my hair salon.

Homemade chocolate cake with almonds, coconut, and whipped cream frosting - what's not to love? Here's the first layer with the almond-coconut filling.
Now the layers are done, and I'm starting to frost with the whip cream.
What better occasion to make a nice cake than for a friend's birthday? Here's Liz, celebrating her "29th" birthday at our 'scrapping-stamping-crafting-marathon'.
Michelle made her this sweet mini-banner, which you can see hanging behind Liz's head in the photo above. It features the cute new "Cheerful Treat" papers from Stampin' Up.
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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt plus a big pinch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut (4 packed cups)
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment and butter the parchment.

  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the butter and chocolate over low heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk in 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Pour in the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in 1 packed cup coconut. Divide the batter between the pans and bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes or until firm in the center. Let cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.

  4. While the cake cools, spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 12 minutes; let cool.

  5. In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup cream, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and pinch salt and simmer, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tsp. vanilla and 3 packed cups coconut. When cool, fold in 1 1/2 cups almonds.

  6. Split the cake layers to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake stand and spread with 1 cup of the coconut-almond mixture. Top with the second layer cut side down and spread with 1 cup more of the mixture. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers and filling, spreading the filling on the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours to firm up.

  7. Whip the remaining 2 1/4 cups cream with the confectioners’ sugar until stiff. Spread over the cake. Sprinkle the top with the remaining almonds.

There is also an easier sheet cake version of this which you can find here.

1 comment:

Liz said...

What fun photos from a very special day! The cake was amazing! Thank you so much!!