2 1/2 cups
unsalted butter, at room temperature
( 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups
eggs, at room temperature
buttermilk, at room temperature
Honey Almond Brittle
1 1/2 tablespoons
slivered almonds, toasted
( about 1/2 cup)
heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans.
- For the cake:
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds between additions.
- Add alternating increments of the flour mixture and buttermilk and vanilla, blending well after each addition; this should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in pans, on wire racks, for 10 minutes, unmold the cakes and let cool completely.
- Note: The cake recipe makes two 8-inch round cake layers. Only one is used for this recipe.
- To make the brittle:
- Combine the granulated sugar, honey and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the toasted almonds, butter and baking soda.
- Mix with a wooden spoon just until the butter melts and the foaming subsides.
- Pour the mixture into a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet and set aside to cool.
- Once the brittle has hardened, break it up and crush to fine crumbs in a food processor.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make the custard cream:
- In a heavy saucepan over medium- low heat, heat milk to barely simmering.
- Meanwhile, combine egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend smoothly.
- Stir the heated milk into the egg mixture; return mixture to saucepan.
- Bring back to a boil, over medium-low heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute.
- Remove pan from heat; add butter and vanilla, stirring to melt the butter.
- Transfer custard to a bowl; place a piece of waxed paper directly on top to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until cold.
- Whip the cream and confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Fold into the chilled custard and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble cake:
- Cut the cake in half horizontally.
- Place one layer on a cake plate, spread cake with cold custard cream and sprinkle with brittle crumbs.
- Cover with the remaining layer of cake.
- Spread the remaining custard cream over cake, applying a thinner coat to the sides, then the top.
- Chill for at least 1 hour before garnishing.
- To garnish, press brittle crumbs onto the sides of the cake with the palm of your hand and sprinkle a layer of crumbs on the top. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Note: To toast nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Allow nuts to cool before using.