October 22, 2015

Almond Joy Cake (Layered chocolate cake with coconut filling, almonds, coconut buttercream & chocolate ganache)

This past week my little angel turned six and I wanted to bake something special for her. Given the choice to select her theme her obvious answer was "a princess cake". We logged into Pinterest to browse through a few cake ideas and short-listed a few. While gawking at the beautiful cakes her eyes were always resting on the chocolate ones too so I asked her if she wanted something that tastes good, or looks pretty and colorful like a princess cake. She paused for a while and then started chanting "eenie meenie minie moe ". I was just wishing that she landed on the chocolate option which was going to be relatively easier for me to make and also would be better enjoyed by the whole family. I got lucky - She opted for chocolate !!! 

That evening I went shopping for her birthday gifts and also ended up picking up some of her favorite candy "Almond joy" as a filler for her birthday gift bag. While driving back home it hit me that her fave candy could just be theme I was looking for and it might just make her a day if she was to get a whole "almond joy" cake instead of just plain chocolate....so here we are... 

Hope you all enjoy this cake as much as we did. This is my first blog post after my son,  Nathaniel was born. I never even thought I would be able to blog again so right now I am feeling accomplished and overwhelmingly thankful to my family for all the support they give me by inspiring me.

2 - 8 inch chocolate cakes (Recipe here. I made one batch of this recipe without adding the orange zest and got two 8" cakes)

Coconut Buttercream
2 sticks (1/2 pound) - butter, room temperature
2.5 teaspoon - coconut extract
4 cups - powdered sugar
½ cup - heavy whipping cream

Coconut filling
1 cup - coconut buttercream (from above)
1/4 cup - powdered sugar
1/4 cup - heavy whipping cream
1 Cup - unsweetened grated coconut
1/4 or 1/2 cup - sliced almonds (use according to your preference)

Chocolate Ganache
1 cups - semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup - heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup - sliced almonds
1/4 cup - grated coconut

Tools (optional)
Wilton Cake leveler (You can get it here)
Wilton decorating triangle (You can get it here)

Directions for cake
  • Bake two 8 inch cakes as per the recipe provided in the link above. Do not add the orange zest mentioned in the recipe.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely and level them using a cake leveler. You can use a long serrated knife if you don't have a cake leveler.
Directions for the coconut butter cream
  • Whip the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes until really smooth.
  • Add the coconut extract and mix again.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar little by little and whip until the sugar is incorporated well
  • Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and whip well.
Directions for the coconut filling
  • Take 1 cup of the prepared coconut buttercream, powder sugar and grated coconut and mix well.
  • To this mixture add 1/4 cup whipping cream and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the sliced almonds.
Directions for chocolate ganache: 
  • Place the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a heat safe dish. Boil water in a pan which is big enough to hold the dish with chocolate chips. Place the dish with chocolate chips over the boiling water allowing it to melt and incorporate with the heavy cream. Remove from heat when the chocolate completely melts.
  • Allow the chocolate ganache to cool for 10 minutes. 
Assembling the cake
  • Place the first cake on the cake stand. Spread the filling evenly on top (as shown in the picture collage) 
  • Carefully align and place the second cake on top.
  • **If you are decorating the cake with frosting, set aside about 1/2 cup of buttercream. 
  • Frost the first coat of frosting on the cake, making sure that the cake looks even. The first coat of buttercream is called crumb coating and your cake might look similar to what you see in the collage shown below. It is perfectly fine if you see cake crumbs.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minute - 1 hour
  • Take the cake out and slather the remaining butter cream on the cake. Try your best to get a nice finish and a smooth surface. I used the Wilton decorating triangle on the side of the cake to get a contoured effect to iced cake.
  • Once you are finished frosting the cake, slowly pour the ganache over the iced cake and let it flow over the edges of the cake for the dripping effect
  • Fill the icing bag with the remaining frosting (I used the Wilton 2D tip) and decorate over the edges of the cake.
  • Garnish with shredded coconut and sliced almonds. 


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