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Servings: Serves 25
Can serve more, depending on the size pieces you serve … 40 is do-able. Cut recipe in half for a 10-inch size cake that is perfect for 12-15.
This is one of the three cakes that Marlys baked for Stacy’s wedding (and Marlys’ favorite). The frosting has been modified but the original is included, should you care to try it (Marlys’ has less fat and more sugar and is less likely to “melt” on a warm day).
2 ¼ cups blanched slivered almonds
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
21 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces
12 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
2 cups unsweetened blackberries or boysenberries (thawed if frozen; ours came fresh from Oregon, courtesy of our friends Joan and Bob Morast)
2 cups fresh raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
15 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (original recipe says 4 ½ sticks)
1 ¼ pounds (2 1/3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature (original recipe says 2 ½ pounds)
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ teaspoons almond extract
8 cups (or more) powdered sugar (original recipe says 6 ½ cups)
1 cup sour cream
1 11-inch-diameter cardboard round
1 7-inch-diameter cardboard round
2 yards colored ribbon (about 1 inch wide)
4 6-inch long ¼-inch-wide wood dowels
Assorted fresh flowers
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Lightly butter and line with parchment one 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides and one 12-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
Finely grind almonds in processor. Sift flour and baking powder into small bowl. Set aside.
Using heavy-duty mixer, cream butter with sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in almond paste a few pieces at a time. Beat until mixture resembles smooth paste. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until batter increases slightly in volume, about 5 minutes. Mix in almonds, then dry ingredients.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 55 minutes for 8-inch cake and 65 minutes for 12-inch cake. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pans to loosen. Turn cakes out onto racks; remove parchment and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead; wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature. Or, can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 weeks.)
For berry filling
Combine berries in heavy large saucepan. Sprinkle with sugar. Let stand 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bring berries to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool chocolate until just slightly warm. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add cream cheese, beating until just combined. Beat in both extracts. Add sugar and beat just until smooth. Add melted chocolate and beat until just combined. Stir in sour cream. If necessary, chill frosting until spreadable (or add more powdered sugar until spreadable).
Using serrate knife, cut each cake horizontally into 3 layers (starting at the top). Place bottom 12-inch cake layer on 11-inch cardboard round. Spread with 2/3 cup berry filling, leaving ½-inch border uncovered. Carefully spread about 2 cups frosting over entire layer. Top with middle 12-inch cake layer. Repeat with spreading the berry filling and frosting, as above. Top with top 12-inch cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting (about 2 ½ cups).
Place bottom 8-inch cake layer on 7-inch cardboard round. Spread with ¼ cup berry filling, leaving ¼-inch border uncovered. Carefully spread about ¾ cup frosting over entire layer. Top with middle 8-inch cake layer. Repeat with spreading the berry filling and frosting, as above. Top with top 8-inch cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting (about 1 ¾ cups).
Cut one 3-foot, 4-inch-long piece of ribbon and wrap around base of 12-inch cake. Press gently onto sides to adhere. Cut one 2-foot, 3-inch-long piece of ribbon and wrap around base of 8-inch cake, pressing gently to adhere. Refrigerate both cakes until frosting sets, about 3 hours.
Place 12-inch cake on platter. Press dowel into center of cake. Mark dowel 1/8 inch above top of cake. Remove and cut with serrated knife at marked point. Cut remaining dowels to same length. Carefully press dowels into bottom cake tier 3½ to 4 inches in from cake edges, spacing evenly. Gently place 8-inch cake on cardboard atop bottom cake tier, centering carefully, with cake resting on dowels.
Spoon remaining frosting into pastry bag fitted with small round tip. Pip dots of frosting on top edge of both cakes (not necessary). (Cake can be prepared up to this point 2 days in advance. Cover loosely with plastic and keep in refrigerator.)
Arrange flowers atop cakes. S
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