Dotted Swiss Almond Cake
This four-layer cake has a rich yet subtle almond flavor. The Italian meringue butter cream, made with hot sugar syrup and flavored with amaretto, is worth every minute it takes; the results are velvety, delicious and beautiful.Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Oven Temp: 350
- 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup(s) milk
- Amaretto Butter Cream, (see below)
- 6 tablespoon(s) seedless red raspberry preserves or jam
- 2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
- 1 can(s) (8 ounces) almond paste, cut up
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch square baking pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper , grease paper. Dust pans with flour.
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
- In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat margarine or butter, almond paste, and sugar until blended, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium, beat until well mixed, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl often (mixture may look crumbly). Gradually beat in egg whites and vanilla, just until blended.
- With mixer at low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk to almond-paste mixture, starting and ending with flour, beat until just mixed. Pour batter into pans. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. With spatula, loosen layers from sides of pans, invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare Amaretto Butter Cream. Spoon 1 cup butter cream into decorating bag fitted with small writing tip (1/8-inch opening), set aside for decorating frosted cake.
- With serrated knife, cut each cake layer horizontally in half. Place bottom half of 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate, spreadwith 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves. Spread 1/3 cup butter cream on top. Repeat layering 2 times, ending with a cake layer.
- With metal spatula, spread remaining butter cream on sides and top of cake. Use frosting in bag to pipe clusters of small dots on top and sides of cake. With larger writing tip (3/8-inch opening), pipe dots around bottom and top borders of cake. Refrigerate cake if not serving right away.
Amaretto Butter CreamYields: 4 cups
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 pinch salt
- In 1-quart saucepan, heat 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water to boiling over high heat without stirring. Cover and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove cover; set candy thermometer in place and continue cooking, without stirring, until temperature reaches 248 to 250 degrees F. or hard-ball stage. Remove saucepan from heat.
- Just before syrup is ready (temperature will be about 220 degrees F.), in large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
- With mixer at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup in thin stream into beaten egg whites. Increase speed to high; beat until meringue forms stiff peaks and mixture is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.
- When meringue is cool, reduce speed to medium. Gradually add softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. (If butter cream appears to curdle, increase speed to high and beat until mixture comes together, then reduce speed to medium and continue adding softened butter.) When butter cream is smooth, reduce speed to low; blend in amaretto or extract and salt until incorporated.