I had the privilege of celebrating my grandfather's 90th birthday this summer with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins from far and wide. It was a great weekend honoring a man who has a way with words. Words that include (when surrounded by all of his grandkids): this is what happens when you get drunk 60 years ago.
This man deserved a celebratory cake. One made from almonds, filled with a MN tart cherry filling, and covered in a white chocolate buttercream.
We also lied profusely to my daughter telling her the party was Sunday morning when, in fact, it was an adults only Saturday evening event. So I made her a mini cake with a bow and sprinkles. And she will never know the truth until she is old enough to read and happens upon this blog post.
Almond Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
510g (4 ½ cups) cake flour
4 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
⅔ cup prepared almond paste (7 ounces)
535g (2 ⅔ cups) sugar
283g (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 tbsp almond extract
10 egg whites
370g (1 ½ cups) whole milk
White Chocolate Buttercream
226g (1 ⅓ cups) white chocolate, chopped
339g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
226g (1 ¾ cups) confectioners’ sugar
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray three 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Place the almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low to break up the almond paste. Increase to medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until the paste is broken into fine particles.
Add the butter and almond extract and beat well, then add the egg whites, two at a time, just long enough to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to make sure it is evenly mixed.
Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the mixture and fold with a large rubber spatula until combined. Fold in half the milk. Fold in half the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk. Finally, fold in the last of the dry ingredients until no streaks of white remain. Divide the batter among the three prepared cake pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Make the white chocolate buttercream:
Put 1-inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler; stir constantly until the chocolate is just melted. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, corn syrup and salt and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the white chocolate and beat on low until combined.