Almond Cognac Caramel Cake
 
 
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 1 4-layer 8-inch cake
Ingredients
For the Almond Cake:
  • 2¼ cups silvered almonds
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 20 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 12 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
For the Cognac Caramel Filling:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Silky Buttercream:
  • 2½ pounds powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1¼ cups (12 ounces, 3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Blue food gel
For assembling the Almond Cognac Caramel Cake:
  • Light green frosting
  • Green frosting
  • Yellow frosting
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
To make the Almond Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 (8-inch) cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
  2. Process silvered almonds in food processor, set aside. In a bowl sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, oil, and sugar beating for 1½ minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl and paddle frequently. Add almond paste and beat for 3 more minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Scrape bowl and paddle.
  5. On low speed beat in vanilla and almond. Gradually add in dry-mixture followed by almonds. Raise speed to medium, beating for 4 minutes.
  6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to even batter. Tap pans against counter to release air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted will come out with a few moist, not wet, crumbs. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Cognac Caramel Filling:
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and water. Set saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Once brought to a boil, lower flame to low, simmering for 6 to 9 minutes, until it turns an amber color.
  2. Remove from heat, add in heavy cream, being careful as it bubbles. Follow by adding white chocolate and salt. Pour into a heatproof container. Let cool for 10 minutes before adding cognac and vanilla. Refrigerate to thicken, about 2 to 3 hours.
To make the Silky Buttercream:
  1. Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. On low speed dissolve powdered sugar and salt in hot water, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in butter, shortening, and extracts. Beat ONLY on medium speed to combine and remove lumps. Beating solely on medium speed prevents air bubbles from getting into the frosting. Tint blue. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To assemble the Almond Cognac Caramel Cake:
  1. Use a serrated knife to level off cake layers.
  2. Dollop a bit of frosting to a cake board to secure the first cake layer. Pipe a border of blue frosting on perimeter, creating a boarder. Fill with caramel. Repeat with remaining layers, topping with final, fourth layer. Chill for 15 minutes. Apply a crumb coat. Chill for 15 minutes. Apply a final, thicker frosting layer.
  3. Coat bottom of cake with a layer of sprinkles. Decorate sides with wreath and garland design by using a star tip. Dot wreath with yellow frosting. Top cake with star tip trees garnished with yellow dots and sprinkles
Notes
This cake design is inspired by brittanymaycakes, Sprinkles made by sweetapolita, Cake recipe adapted from Bon Appetite, Frosting recipe adapted from wickedgoodkitchen
Recipe by Layer Cake Parade at http://layercakeparade.com/almond-cognac-caramel-cake/