With my birthday around the corner, I thought it would be fun to sample a few new cake recipes.
Fun is an understatement because not only do we get to sample each one.
I get to photograph them! [A huge creative bonus.] I adapted THIS delicious recipe to make five small 2-layers cakes. The printable recipe is below.
- 1-1/3 generous cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup apricot jam
- 3 oz. buttermilk, at room temperature
- 3 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sliced natural almonds, toasted
- Chocolate Caramel Ganache (see below)
- Grease and line bottoms of ten 8 oz. wide-mouth canning jars (or 6-oz. ramekins) with parchment paper.
- Mix together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together jam and buttermilk; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture to sugar mixture, mixing well. Add 1/2 of jam mixture to same sugar mixture, mix well. Incorporate the remaining flour and jam mixtures, alternating the same way - ending with the flour mixture.
- Distribute batter evenly into prepared jars and place jars on two baking sheets, spacing jars approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until done.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes on wire racks before removing from jars. Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks before assembling cake.
- To make the Chocolate Caramel Ganache, mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon water, and a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice in small saucepan on stovetop (medium heat).
- Stir until sugar has dissolved.
- Stop stirring and allow mixture to come to a boil. Cook until mixture is a dark amber color.
- Remove from heat and carefully whisk in 1/2 cup half-and-half very slowly (mixture will bubble profusely).
- Stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into pieces and put saucepan back over medium heat and add butter pieces, stirring until melted (mixture will thicken).
- Pour hot caramel mixture over 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk chocolate mixture briskly until smooth.
- Allow ganache to cool uncovered on countertop for 3 hours until spreading consistency (stir periodically).
- To assemble cakes, put five cake bottoms on a flat plate or cake stand. Frost tops and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
- Place the remaining five cakes on top of frosted bottoms. Use ganache to frost tops and sides of cakes. Add toasted almonds to sides of cake.