Our Signature Amaretto and caramelized almonds wedding cake

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Our signature Cake.


I always say that the time preparing a wedding or any other event is often more fun than the event itself. This is certainly true for the part when you do the cake tastings. Who doesn’t like a plate full of different cake and frosting flavors to combine and taste.

But no matter how many of this tastings I did, and how many flavors I presented, the Amaretto cake with caramelized almonds was always the favorite, always our signature cake.


The cake itself is a white sour cream cake you can use as base for many other flavors, or delicious as it is. The amaretto flavor is infused thru the syrup, and the filling, and of course, the caramelized almonds makes it memorable.


Here is how we put together our signature cake.




Sour cream White Cake:

I found this recipe maybe 10 years ago in www.cakecentral.com and it’s been one of my favorites, specially for wedding cakes.



INGREDIENTS

· 1 box white cake mix

· 1 cup all-purpose flour

· 1 cup granulated sugar

· 1/2 tsp salt

· 4 egg whites

· 1 cup water

· ¼ cup vegetable oil

· 1 cup sour cream

· 2 tsp vanilla extract



INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter and flour two 8" cake rounds

3. Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.

4. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.

5.I use my KitchenAid on low for 2 minutes but you can also do this by hand.

6.Divide the batter between the pans and bake for approximately 50 minutes.

7.Cool in pans on wire rack for 10mins, then turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely.


















Amaretto Italian Merengue Buttercream:

The queen of all buttercreams, and my absolute favorite

Serves: 700g or enough for 24 cupcakes or 1, double tier layer cake

Ingredients

· 2 cups sugar (375g), divided

· ⅔ cup water (150g)

· 5 large egg whites (150g)

· pinch salt

· pinch cream of tartar

· 2 cups butter, cubed (4 sticks or 1 pound), cool but not cold

· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· 1 once amaretto liquor, or to taste.

Instructions

1. You want to make sure that you have everything measured out and ready to go. You also want to make sure that your mixing bowl is clean and free of any residual fat.

2. Mix half of the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir just until the sugar dissolves. When your sugar starts to bubble begin whipping your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can add a pinch of salt and/or cream of tartar for stability if you wish. When your eggs begin to look frothy, slowly begin adding your sugar, whipping constantly on medium-high.

3. Continue whipping your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Ideally your meringue should reach stiff peaks at the same time that your sugar syrup reaches 235 F. Don’t go anywhere! Sugar will reach the temperature very slow, but then burn very fast. If your egg whites are whipping too fast, reduce the mixer speed to medium. You can also adjust the heat on the sugar syrup to make it cook faster or slower.

4. Turn your mixer up to high and SLOWLY pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Be very careful not to hit the whisk.

5. Keep whipping the Italian meringue on high until it forms stiff, turn to slow and keep mixing until the bowl is warm to the touch. If you add the butter to a hot merengue it will melt and you will have soup instead of cream.

6. When the bowl feels just slightly warm, switch to the paddle attachment and begin adding your butter a piece at a time. You need the butter to be at room temperature, I take out mine the night before.

7. Continue to beat the butter in on medium-high until the buttercream is smooth and there are no remaining pieces of butter. Now it’s time to add your flavoring, in this case, our delicious amaretto. Use more or less depending of your taste.

For the Chocolate Variation:

1. When your butter has been completely incorporated, pour your chocolate in all at once and immediately fold it in with a spatula or beat it in with the paddle attachment. You want to make sure that your chocolate is melted but not hot and it is also still warm enough to flow freely in a continuous stream. If your chocolate is too hot, you will melt your butter cream; but if it is too cool, then you will have pieces of chocolate in your frosting.






Caramelizing almonds

½ cup sugar

2 cups slivered almonds

Have a nonstick mat ready next to your pan

In a nonstick medium pan melt the sugar until it reaches a light caramel color. Immediately pour in the almonds and fold to cover with the sugar.

Pour the mixture in the nonstick mat as flat as you can and wait until is completely cold.

Use a food processor to brake it in to coarse pieces the size of peas.