Cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat the insides of two 9-inch
cake pans with melted butter. Line each pan with parchment paper, then lightly
coat again. If you grease and flour instead, be sure to do it heavily.
Combine flour, soda and salt in a sifter. Sift together onto waxed paper
and set aside.
Place 3/4 pound butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer.
Beat on low for 3 minutes, then on medium for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
Add the chopped almonds and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
Add eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds and scraping down bowl after each addition.
Add almond extract and vanilla extract and beat on high for 2 more minutes.
Reduce speed to low and add half of the sifted dry ingredients and allow to
mix for 15 seconds.
Add 1/2 cup sour cream, then the remaining dry ingredients,
then the remaining sour cream, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition.
Add hot water and mix for 15 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat
for an additional 20 seconds before removing bowl from mixer. Use a rubber spatula
to finish mixing the batter until it is smooth and thoroughly combined.
Immediately divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading evenly.
Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in
the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes at room
temperature. Invert onto cooling racks and remove parchment paper (if used).
Allow to cool for an additional 30 minutes.
Turn the cakes over and trim off just enough of the top to create a level
surface. Then slice each cake into 2 horizontal layers, creating 4 layers. Refrigerate
uncovered while preparing raspberry crush.
Raspberry Crush: In a food processor or blender, combine all three ingredients.
Process until smooth. Strain through a sieve and discard rough pulp and seeds.
You should have about 1 1/2 cups of raspberry crush.
Spread cooled cake layers with 3-4 tablespoons of raspberry crush. Do not
use more, as cake will become soggy and difficult to handle. Return cakes to
refrigerator while you prepare the Chocolate Almond Buttercream.
Chocolate Almond Buttercream: Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of
a double boiler over medium heat. Place all chocolate in top half. Cover with
plastic wrap and allow to sit for 8-10 minutes. When melted, stir until smooth
and transfer to small bowl.
Place butter pieces in large bowl of mixer. Beat on low for 2 minutes, then
on medium for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then beat on high until light
and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add almond extract and beat for 1 minute. Remove
about 1/4 of the butter and whisk it into the chocolate, incorporating thoroughly.
Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the rest of the butter and beat on medium
until they are thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat
on high 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Heat water in double boiler again. Place egg whites and granulated sugar
in top and gently whisk until temperature reaches 120 degrees F. Transfer to
mixing bowl and beat (with a balloon whip for maximum fullness) until stiff
peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to combine chocolate/butter mixture with egg
Assembling the Cake: Place one layer of the cake, raspberry side up, on
serving plate. Cover with 3/4 cup of buttercream. Repeat with 2 more layers.
With the final layer, invert it raspberry side down. Cover top and sides of
cake with most of the remaining buttercream. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the remaining buttercream.
Pipe stars over the top of the cake, working from the outside edge to the center.
Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.
To serve: Place a pool (about 1 tablespoon) of the raspberry crush on a
dessert plate. Heat the blade of a serrated slicer under hot running water and
wipe dry before making each slice.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving and eating.
Posted by Marla at Recipe Goldmine 12/10/2001 10:03 am.