Chocolate Cake with Almond Filling or Chocolate Almond Trifle Cake

1. Chocolate Almond Trifle Cake
Makes 3 9-inch layers

1 recipe Best Ever Chocolate Cake (directly below):
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (about 1/2 C)
1 1/2 very hot water
3 C sugar
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 C vegetable oil
1 1/2 C buttermilk (or use a scan 1 1/2 C milk mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar)
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300. Grease and line bottoms of three 9-inch cake pans. Grease the wax paper lining also. 

Chop chocolate (or save yourself some time and use chocolate chips) and put it with the hot water. Let it stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted.

In large blowl, sift fugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, beat eggs until thickened very slightly and lemon colored (3-5 minutes). Gradually beat in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined well. 

Divide batter evenly into cake pans. 

Bake 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

Allow to cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out on racks to cool completely. 

Frost with your favorite frosting. We favor the chocolate one you'll find here.

Note: Just want two 9-inch layers. Smittenkitchen gives an adaptation here, but don't cook it as long as she guesstimates. You must only do 35-40 minutes or it will be burned and dry and not the best ever.

Almond Filling (pudding):
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 C sugar
6 Tbsp flour
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Note: This is less sweet than a normal pudding would be. Go with it. It works well with the sweetness of the cake and frosting.

In a small bowl, beat eggs and yolk until well mixed.

In saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Gradually whisk in 1/2 C milk until smooth Whisk in eggs and remaining milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Another note: Mine never got to much of a boil--it was too thick, so even though it was boiling, it didn't look like water does when boiling. 

Remove from heat, let cool for 1 minute and add almond and vanilla extracts. Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap pressed into the surface so it doesn't form a skin (unless you wish to let a skin form and then eat it off; I will not judge you).

Kip's Fudge Frosting:

3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) butter, somewhat melted (halfway melted, in Kip's words)
1/2 C cocoa
1/3-1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
nearly 2 lb powdered sugar (probably 2 C shy of 2 lb--this is the sketchiest part of this recipe--start with less--you can always add more if it's way too runny or thin)

Mix butter, cocoa, and 1/3 C milk. Add other ingredients and beat well. If it's too stiff, add more milk.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache:

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli 60%)--about 1 bag if using chips
1 C plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream
generous 4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla (a good vanilla is best)

Heat cream (don't let it boil). Pour it over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter until melted and incorporated. Add vanilla. 

Now whisk (or if you care about your arm falling off as I do, get out the blooming beaters) the frosting until it begins to thicken. Don't let it get too thick, but whisk until it's fluffy and smooth and sort of mousse-like. If it does get to thick warm it for a few seconds in the microwave until it softens slightly and then whisk again.

Frost as soon as you can. This will set, so the longer you wait, the higher your chances are of having to do the microwave thing (we did; it wasn't a big deal so don't worry if it happens) or make truffles with it (the horror). 

To assemble:

Stack one layer of cake. Cut or scoop out a well of cake about 1 inch deep. (Throw the extra cake in the freezer and later when you get the urge, make cake balls with it.) Frost the well with Kip's frosting. This is what I didn't do (so technically this is what we call a 'theory;' I think it's a good theory and all, but do be warned). If you don't frost it the pudding will eventually just melt into the cake. I expect this will happen to an extent with the frosting, but not as much or as quickly. Add almond filling (This will probably make enough that you have leftover pudding. I didn't, but remember that my first try oozed out all over everywhere.)

Repeat with the second layer of cake. (Stack, well, frost, fill.)

Put third layer of cake on top. Frost with Kip's frosting and then with Whipped Chocolate Ganache. Let it all set and take a break because you deserve it.

As I confessed above, I'm not a huge lover of trifles. I found that I preferred the chocolate half of my cake to the almond-filled half of my cake. Because of this, I think this cake would be best with an almond flavored frosting instead. 

Chocolate Cake with Almond Filling

Prepare the Best Ever Chocolate Cake (recipe above)

Almond Filling (frosting):

3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C) butter, significantly softened
3-6 Tbsp cream (or milk if that's all you've got)
1 tsp almond extract

Note: To make this knock your socks off almond-y, you could sub out 1/4-1/2 C almond paste with 1/4 C of the butter. Then add only 1/2 tsp of almond extract. (Note: I have not done this, but almond paste is one of my best friends and I will try it as soon as I get some for less than $4.)

Combine butter, sugar, and almond extract. Mix. Add 3 Tbsp cream and the other 3 if the frosting needs it. Beat that frosting till smooth and light and delicious. 

Prepare the Whipped Chocolate Ganache (recipe above)

To assemble:

Place 1 layer of chocolate cake on cake plate or display thingy. Frost with about half of the almond frosting. Place second layer on and frost with other half. Place third layer on. If you've got any almond frosting left, make a thin layer of it here. Frost cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate