By Nancy Caivano
with Caramel, Coconut and Almonds
Makes 1 layer cake
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup water
1 tbsp instant espresso or coffee
2-1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted
1 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups toasted, sliced almonds, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with 1-1/2 inch high sides well with cooking spray. Combine chocolate, 1 cup water and espresso powder in a heavy, small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with sour cream in 3 additions, beginning with dry ingredients and beating well after each addition.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Using small knife cut around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks, and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare filling. Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Place pan over medium low heat and stir until all caramelized sugar in the pan melts, and mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut and 1 cup almonds. Cool filling until thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup sour cream. Whisk in remaining powdered sugar and sour cream.
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread half of filling evenly over top, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with second cake layer. Spread with remaining filling, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting over sides and top of cake. Press 2 cups sliced almonds onto sides of cake. Using pastry bag or pastry spatula, pipe or swirl frosting on top of cake decoratively.
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This page created February 2000