Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fathers Day Almond Joy cake

Its Father's Day and thought maybe i should be nice and make a cake for my I  began thinking about what flavor cake i should do. So I thought and thought and I Stumbled upon the idea that he loves cake and he loves almond joys so...almond joy cake! Now you would think I would just make it taste like almond joy but no it has to look like an almond joy too. So since I did not want to put real almon joys in it (because that would make it crunchy) I decided to make a chocolate cake with almond and coconut filling. And to make it more like an almond joy of course you need chocolate ganache (also known as chocolate glaze). So I will make all that look like an almond joy.  This recipe took about four hours from start to finish, so make sure you have some time to make it.  It turned out great though, and was well worth the time.   I found this recipe on another blog, and then decided to put my own spin on it.  You can find the original recipe here:

Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 C buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C freshly brewed hot coffee

Coconut Filling
1 1/4 C heavy cream
3/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp coconut cream
1 Tbsp cornstarch 
1 Tbsp whole milk
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 C sweetened shredded coconut

Almond Crunch
2 C sliced almonds
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C heavy cream
1 Tbsp Amaretto (I substituted almond extract)

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 pound (16 oz) confectioner's sugar
3 Tbsp whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
8 oz dark chocolate (60-72% cocoa) coarsely chopped
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and diced
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

Prepare the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x13 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease with food release spray or butter and flour.  
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan  for 30 minutes, then turn it onto a cooling rack and cool completely.  

Note: The cake can be baked a day or two in advance, then wrapped tightly and refrigerated until ready to assemble.   Same goes for the filling and the almond crunch.

Prepare the Filing:
Place cream, sugar, and coconut cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.  Stir the cornstarch and milk together in a small bowl until there are no lumps.  Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the simmering cream until smooth and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Add the butter and the coconut and continue cooking, stirring, about 3 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thickened, about 2 hours.  Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble the cake.  

Note: I didn't have 2 hours to wait for the filling to thicken before my dad got home, so I spread it out in a baking pan, and filled another, larger pan with ice water.  I placed the filling pan in the ice bath, and it was ready to use by the time the cake was ready to assemble.  

Prepare the Almond Crunch
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper; butter the parchment.  In a bowl, mix together all ingredients until the almonds are evenly coated.  Spread into an even layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, being sure to toss the almonds every 3-4 minutes to prevent them from burning.  Remove from oven when the sugar melts and becomes bubbly and almonds become a bit more crisp.  Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.   

Note: Not all of the almond crunch will be used in the cake, so feel free to snack along the way.  You could also use some of the extra as garnish if you would like.  The more you handle the almond filling, the more it will stick to your hands.  Return to the fridge if you need it to firm back up.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting
Place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat with the mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Add the salt, confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until smooth and soft.  Set aside

Assemble the Cakes
Once the cake cooled, I cut it into quarters.  This gave me my layers to be shaped into ovals like Almonds Joys. 

After I quartered the cake, I rounded the edges of each piece to make them oval shaped.  I took the extra cake and rolled it into balls shaped like almonds to put on top of each cake.  

I placed both of my cakes on pieces of cardboard to make it easier to move them around.  Then, I put the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag and piped it around the edges of two of the ovals.  This helped to keep the filling inside the cake.

Spread the coconut filling inside the ring of cream cheese frosting.  

Top the filling with the almond crunch.  

Place remaining layers of cakes on top of the almond crunch.  Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over each cake.  This is called de-crumbing.  Place both cakes in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the frosting firms up.  This will prevent crumbs from getting in the final exterior of the cake.  Remove from the fridge and continue frosting with the rest of the cream cheese frosting.  You should have just enough.  Once the cakes are frosted, place two cake balls on top of each cake.  Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.  

Prepare the Chocolate Glaze
Place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir the glaze to release excess heat.  

Glazing the Cake
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the cake over the baking sheet and slowly pour enough chocolate glaze over each cake to cover the tops.  Place the cakes in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze.  Then remove from the fridge and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the edges of the cakes.  It should run down the sides in thick streams.  Chill cakes for about 20 minutes or until the glaze is set, then transfer to a serving plate.

To Serve
Remove cake from fridge and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes or until it comes to room temperature.  This will make it easier to slice.