The August edition of Sugar High Friday was hosted by Elissa at 17 and Baking.
The theme for this month is Brown Butter. I was very excited. I've made this brown butter frosting several times now, and it's one of my favorites. It's not as time consuming or potentially tricky as a buttercream, but way tastier than a traditional powdered sugar based frosting. And it's a great conistency for piping decorations. And the brown butter, with its slightly nutty taste, pairs very well with the almond cake.
I'll be hosting the October edition of Sugar High Friday's, so check back on October 1 to see what the theme is, and please consider submitting an entry.
Almond Cake (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
1 cup sour cream, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 cup finely ground almonds, toasted and preferably unblanched
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
18 tablespoons butter (9 ounces, or 2 1/4 sticks), room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 3 8" round cake pans with baking spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again.
In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, and the extracts. Set aside. Don't worry, it won't be smooth or pretty.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients - mix for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of sour cream, and mix on low until combined. Mix on medium for 2 minutes to aerate batter. Add the egg and sour cream mixture in 3 additions, beating 20 seconds after each addition.
Split the batter between the cake pans, and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.
Let the cakes cook in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn on to cooling rack. Cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to frost.
Brown Butter Frosting (enough to frost and decorate an 8" 3-layer cake)
3 sticks butter, browned
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
4-8 tablespoons heavy cream
4-8 tablespoons Frangelico (or water or your choice of liqueur)
Pinch of Kosher salt (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Brown the butter, pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, and set aside to cool. Wait for it to cool completely.
Pour the cooled brown butter into mixer bowl (paddle attachment). Add about 1/3 of the powdered sugar, and beat. Add the Frangelico, and continue beating. Add half the remaining powdered sugar, and beat. Add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of heavy cream, and beat until smooth. Add more cream if you'd like the frosting to be softer, and more powdered sugar if you'd like it to be stiffer. The exact proportions will depend on your desired consistency as well as the weather. Add salt if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Re-whip the frosting right before use. If it's been in the refrigerator long (say over night), you might need to let it sit for an hour or two before it's ready to whip and frost).
Frosting Dam & Jam Filling
Tinted White Chocolate
If you want to make the tinted chocolate shavings, melt some white chocolate, and add your desired color. When it's the color you want, pour onto something flat, like a clean cutting board. Let the chocolate harden, then use a vegetable peeler to make the shavings.
For the sugared raspberries, pour a little sugar into a small bowl. Add some raspberries, a few at a time, and coat with sugar.
For the cake: Make sure your cake is completely cooled, chilled is even better. Place one cake layer on a cake board or plate, and pipe a frosting dam around the outer edge, so the jam doesn't seep out. Spread raspberry jam inside the frosting dam. Repeat with the next layer. After you've placed the third layer on top, cover the entire cake with frosting, and decorate as desired. If your kitchen is too hot, you may want to chill the cake before frosting.