On Mother’s Day, Dad and I took mom out for Brunch. When I agreed to go, I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. I guess I should back up a bit further even. A year ago, I asked mom what she wanted for her birthday and she said that she wanted me to bake her cookies and then she proceeded to describe these cookies that she’d dreamt about and asked me to work out a recipe for them. Then for my Dad’s birthday I created a carrot cake recipe with a vanilla bean brown butter cream cheese icing.
So here we are sitting a Mother’s Day brunch and mom starts talking about her birthday. Heck at that point, I hadn’t even bought her mother’s day gift. Mom tells me that for her birthday that she’d really like me to write her a brand new cake recipe. An Amaretto Cake.
Hmm… an Amaretto cake. I think I’ve only ever had two amaretto cakes, the one at Spike’s wedding (which I picked out) and the one from Amphora (which is my go to for my birthday cake). How hard could an amaretto cake be? I’m sure it probably shouldn’t have been so hard, in fact it probably wouldn’t have been so hard, if I’m spent more time in the kitchen actually baking it than thinking about it and trying to decide what an amaretto cake should really be like. I was thinking I wanted to do something more than just a standard amaretto cake. Once I got in the kitchen it actually seemed to go by pretty quickly if you don’t count the fact that during the kitchen renovation I seem to have misplaced an entire tote containing all of my round baking pans and had to go out and buy new ones.
I baked the test cake on Monday and had the cake recipe perfected and only had to work on the filling and the frosting. On Tuesday and Wednesday, everyone at work tested the cake and frosting with the two different fillings (an amaretto pastry cream and a godiva liqueur filling) that I’d created… and by the end of the week I’d actually come up with something I thought I liked.
Fast Forward to the 8th, I got up early and started baking the real cake; the only thing I did that I didn’t include in the written recipe was that I rolled out disks of almond paste and put the disks in between the layers of the filling between the cake layers. After the entire cake is completed
Rolled almond paste, it was a nice addition but I want to try the cake again without it to see what its like first.
I was originally going to split my layers but if you’ll notice the time on the clock it was almost 8pm and my mom was coming over for dessert after her birthday dinner.
Almond Cake with Amaretto Filling and Amaretto Buttercream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup Amaretto coffee creamer
1 cup Amaretto
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sliced almonds
1 recipe Amaretto Filling (recipe follows)
1 recipe Almond Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.
2) In a large measuring cup, mix heavy cream, coffee creamer and amaretto together. Place 1/2 cup of the almond cream mixture in a small bowl to reserve for icing.
3) Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat well. One at a time, add the eggs, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl periodically. Add extracts and beat to incorporate.
4) In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with remaining almond cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until combined and divide batter evenly among the 3 pans.
5) Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 26 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes and remove cakes from pans and let cool entirely on a wire rack.
6) Spread Amaretto Filling between layers and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7) Spread icing on top and sides of cake. Decorate sides of cake with sliced almonds. Store cake in refrigerator.
Almond Buttercream Icing
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup reserved almond cream
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
1 tablespoon almond extract
1) In a large bowl, beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy.
2) Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar. Add almond cream and beat well. Add amaretto and extract.
Almond Cream Filling
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup amaretto coffee creamer
3/4 cup amaretto
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cup butter, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons almond extract
1) Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Spoon mixture into a small bowl; cover surface of mixture with plastic wrap, pressing wrap onto surface, and let stand 30 minutes or until cool.
2) Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3) Gradually add cooled mixture, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add almond extract, beating until mixture is consistency of whipped cream
The cake was a huge success. With mom and with the people at work, heck even Mike liked it. Dad on the other hand… he thought it was maybe a bit too sweet, he’s not an amaretto fan so his vote doesn’t really count.