Saturday, 25 May 2013

almond layer cake

I've been on the look out for a suitable almond cake recipe to be part of my wedding cake in a few weeks time. After a few wrong turns I discovered this beauty. It's ridiculously easy to make, has the firmness you need to stand up to fondant icing but isn't too heavy at all. Also with the alcohol syrup you have an added richness which is exactly want you want from a celebration cake. This version is based on Dan Lepard's yummy cake which you can find here. I have boosted the almond flavours by substituting the vanilla extract with almond and using amaretto instead of brandy for the syrup. I've also done a version using Krupnik, a Polish vodka and honey based liquer. That was pretty awesome too. My version here is also much lighter because I haven't slathered it with double cream as in the original. I'm sure it would be glorious with the cream but I didn't have any in the house and I wanted to make it just a little lighter. If you want to be more decadent go for it and layer the cake together with fresh raspberries or strawberries and some lightly whipped and sweetened double cream. 

225g caster sugar (+25g for syrup)
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g mascarpone
170g greek yogurt
4 medium eggs
2 tsp almond extract
75g ground almonds
325g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
Good quality Strawberry jam or conserve
  1. Grease and base line two 18cm round sponge tins with baking parchment and heat the oven to 180C.  Beat together the caster sugar, butter and 125g mascarpone with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy - this will take around 3-5 minutes.
  2. Next add the eggs one at a time beating to ensure they are thoroughly combined.
  3. Beat in the almond extract and ground almonds, sift in the flour and baking powder, and combine thoroughly.
  4. Divide the mixture between the two tins then bake for about 30 minutes, or until completely cooked (a skewer will come out cleanly when it is).
  5. While the cakes are cooling heat 25ml of your chosen spirit with 25g caster sugar until the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat. Prick the tops of the cakes with a fork or skewer then carefully pour over the syrup. Cover the cakes with paper and leave to cool completely. This will help to keep them soft.
  6. Put one layer of the cake on a serving plate. Cover with a generous couple of dollops of good quality strawberry conserve/jam then beat together the greek yogurt and remaining mascarpone, adding a little sugar if you wish. Put half the mascarpone mixture on top of the jam then cover with the second cake layer before finally putting the remaining mascarpone mix on top. Yum.

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