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Author Notes: This cake is basically an excuse to eat berries covered in piles of decadent whipped cream. (Using an immersion blender to whip the cream is key. It creates a thick, stable whipped cream that holds up extremely well, even overnight.) Chocolate bits and coconut flakes add texture, and the layers of light, tender almond cake (originally a New York Times recipe: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8588-almond-berry-layer-cake) hold everything together. —Carey Nershi
Makes 1 cake
- unsalted butter, for greasing pans
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 1 3/4 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three round 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment paper, then butter the parchment and dust each pan with flour, shaking out any excess.
- Place 1 tbsp of flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
- Fill a pot (one you can set the bowl of your stand mixer in without the bowl touching the bottom) with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Combine the eggs, egg whites, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- Return bowl to your stand mixer and fit the mixer with your whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high until the batter is pale yellow, thick, and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
- Gently fold the almond mixture into the batter. Evenly distribute between the three pans. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the tops of each layer are lightly browned. (The edges should be nicely browned and will have risen higher than the middle of the cake.) Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of each layer, then turn them out of the pans. Peel the parchment off the bottom, flip them back over, and let them cool completely.
- 1 quart heavy cream
- zest of 1 lemon, peeled off in thick strips
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3 cups berries
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- The night before assembling the cake, combine lemon zest and heavy cream and let infuse overnight in the fridge. (If you'd like to skip this step, sub in 1/4 tsp of lemon extract when you whip the cream.)
- Remove lemon zest from cream. Combine cream, powdered sugar, and extract and whip with an immersion blender or food processor until thick and silky (this should only take a couple minutes at most).
- Place one layer of almond cake on a cardboard round or cake stand. Spread 1/3 cup of raspberry jam over the surface of the cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup of berries, followed by a third of the chopped chocolate and a third of the coconut flakes. Top with one third of the whipped cream and spread evenly over everything. Place a second layer of cake on top and repeat. For the top layer, add the whipped cream after the jam, then top with remaining berries, coconut, and chocolate.
- Carefully cover and let the cake chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (This gives all the layers time to meld together.) Just before slicing, top with a healthy drizzle of honey, then serve.
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