2cups(452g, 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8cups(934g) powdered sugar
1/3 to 1/2cupheavy creamroom temperature
1/8tsp(1g) fine salt
Pink and blue food gel
For the Zabaione Filling
4large egg yolks
4tablespoons(60g) granulated sugar
1tablespoonbrandyMarsala or rum will work
1/3cup(80ml) heavy cream
To make the Almond Cake:
Preheat oven to 345 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water, cooking on a medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is coming to a boil. Once boiled, take off heat and add remaining 7 ingredients, whisking to combine. Pour into prepared pans. Baking for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway. When done, the cake will be golden on the top and a toothpick inserted will come out with a few moist, not wet, crumbs.
Let cakes cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. For an even moister cake wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
To make the Buttercream:
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on a medium speed, scraping frequently, ensuring there are no clumps of butter. Lower speed, gradually adding powdered sugar alternately with heavy cream followed by vanilla and salt. Remove 3/4 to 1 cup frosting, tinting this smaller portion pink. Tiny remaining frosting with blue.
Frosting can be made a day before, but let frosting come to room temperature and give it a few stirs with a spatula to loosen it up again.
To make the Zabaione:
Over a double boiler, whisk yolks, sugar, and alcohol continuously until a pale opaque yellow color and billowy in texture, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Strainer mixture into another bowl, add vanilla, and let cool, about 15 minutes.
While egg-mixture cools, whip heavy cream until sturdy peaks form. Fold egg-mixture with whipped cream, and mascarpone. Use within a few hours. If not using immediately, the filling will store refrigerated for only 24 hours.
To assemble the Zabaione Almond Cake:
Use a serrated knife to level off the cake layers.
Secure the first cake layer onto a cake board with frosting. Pipe a ring of blue frosting on cake perimeter. Fill in with zabaione filling. Top with second layer. Create crumb coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Apply a thicker layer of frosting, using a bench scraper to smooth layers. Pat sprinkles onto sides. Use a toothpick to trace a heart. Pipe pink frosting onto traced section with a star tip.
Add bottom boarder of frosting.
You can make the cake and frosting ahead of time, but it's ideal to make the zabaione filling on the day of assembly.