Prep 1 hr
Cook 48 hrs
This recipe is a bit time consuming, without doubt. However, the final product is to die for!! Once decorated this cake is soo beautiful. This was published in Bon Appetit, March 2007 edition. This cake should be done a day before.
- 1 1⁄4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 10 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 (7 ounce) packages almond paste
- 7 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups whole almonds, toasted
- 1.5 (8 ounce) containers mascarpone, cheese**
- 1 1⁄2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- For ganache filling:.
- Simmer cream and sugar in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Chill until just spreadable, about 6 hours.
- For almond cake:.
- Preheat oven to 350°F Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with parchment paper; dust pans with flour. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Using heavy-duty mixer, blend brown sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat in almond paste 1 piece at a time, then beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Fold in dry ingredients. Divide batter among pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack.
- For almond praline:.
- Line baking sheet with foil. Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until deep amber, swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush occasionally. Mix in nuts. Pour onto foil; cool. Peel foil off praline. Chop praline coarsely. DO AHEAD Praline can be made 1 day ahead; store airtight at room temperature.
- For mascarpone frosting:.
- Beat all ingredients in large bowl just to soft peaks (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).
- Run knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out; peel off paper. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread half of ganache over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup praline. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining ganache over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup praline. Top with third cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Cake can be made 1 day ahead; cover with cake dome and chill. Store remaining praline airtight at room temperature.
- For chocolate bark:.
- Line baking sheet with foil. Melt chocolate in small bowl set over saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from over water. Drizzle all but 1 tablespoon chocolate over foil in thick (about 1-inch-wide) zigzag lines (chocolate will pool in spots). Sprinkle 3 tablespoons praline over chocolate; chill bark until firm, about 1 hour.
- Press praline around bottom 2 inches of cake; sprinkle more atop. Peel foil off bark; break into pieces. Press edges into frosting atop cake. Remelt 1 tablespoon chocolate over simmering water, stirring often. Using spoon, drizzle chocolate over cake. DO AHEAD Chill up to 4 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.
My Favorite cake of all time (so far!) This is actually the second time I made it . The first time was a couple of years ago for the ladies I worked with at the time. They went ape**** over it and always talked about it. This cake does not have to take soooo long. I have taken some short cuts that I will share....1) I bought the sugar coated nuts(praline) from the grocery store from the open bins 2) I had to use almond butter instead of almond paste as it is only seasonal where I live and actually works out bettter because it mixes easier. I made a 12 inch one tier cake because there wasn't enough cake mixture for 3 9-inch pans. I would double the recipee. I would like the ganache to be 2 or 3 times the amount to make that layer thick and I would make the praline mixture a lot thicker as well...maybe not grind down the praline as much and double the amount of praline.The eggs,almond butter and praline mixture are what make this cake a little bit of a splurge. I usually make this for Special Occasions. Not as hard as it looks !