Almond Praline Cake recipe bookmarked for YEARS knowing I'd love it because I love anything almond and anything praline. The decision should have been easy. However, a few days before my birthday I was thinking about chocolate cake and I couldn't get it out of my head. Not wanting to make a boring old chocolate cake for my birthday, I decided to combine the two. One layer of chocolate cake sandwiched between two layers of almond cake.
While my inside-out oreo-esque cake was certainly pretty to look at and certainly tasty, my better judgment tells me that the chocolate layer didn't really add anything spectacular taste-wise. AKA unless you want to create more work for yourself (as I obviously did) you'd be better off saving yourself the trouble and forgoing the chocolate layer*.
Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and its more toned down flavor allows taste of the cake (or cakes, in my case) to shine through. It's a perfect complement that is in no way overwhelming. Also, for all your sugar fiends out there, you will not miss the sugar because this frosting does not taste lacking in any way.
*The original 3 layer recipe can be found by clicking on the Bon Appétit link underneath the recipe title. If you decide to use this, it should be noted that I made a few worthwhile changes such as decreasing the amount of almond paste, using 2% milk in the ganache, and decreasing the amount of praline and chocolate bark-- I would say you should stick with these changes though you'll want to do less of a reduction when making 3 layers as opposed to 2, as I've shown here. I'm sorry if this is confusing... if you want to do this and have any questions please don't hesitate to email me or leave a comment!
Almond Praline Cake with Mascrapone Frosting
This entire recipe is cut down from the original because I chose to make 2 layers instead of 3. Therefore, I did 2/3 of the ganache recipe, 2/3 of the cake recipe, 1/2 the praline, 2/3 of the frosting, and 1/2 the chocolate bark.
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Standard. If I were to make this again I might just make extra frosting and use that in the center.
3/4 cup 2% milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (1/2 cup, 1 stick)
1.5 7-ounce packages almond paste,* crumbled into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 teaspoon PLUS 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Delicious. My only complaint is that the nuts soften and the sugar melts when the cake is stored in the fridge. I would keep extra on hand to sprinkle on top if you plan on eating the cake over multiple days.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
For the mascarpone frosting
Amazing. This is 2/3 the original recipe. You might want to make more as I had juuuust enough after a lot of 'sampling'
1 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese
1 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate bark
If you want to leave anything out, I would say leave this out-- but still do the chocolate drizzle on top for aesthetic reasons!
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
For the ganache filling
Simmer milk and sugar in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Chill until just spreadable, about 6 hours.
Devils Food Cake
From David Lebovitz
4.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup 2% milk
Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ x 2″ cake pan and line the bottom with circles of parchment paper.
For the cake
Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the egg until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.)
Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Run knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out; peel off paper. Place 1 layer Almond Cake on platter. Spread half of ganache over; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons praline. Top with Chocolate Cake layer. Spread remaining ganache over; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons praline. Top with second Almond Cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake.
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: I made the praline and the two Almond Cake layers the day before. The day of I made the ganache, chocolate bark, chocolate cake (could be made the day before but I was missing an ingredient) and the frosting. While the original recipe says you can assemble the cake and put it in the fridge ahead of time, I would not suggest this because the praline softens and looses its crunch.