Honey Almond Praline:
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
- 2 ounces (1/3 cup) sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) honey
- 3/4 cup (2 ounces) almonds
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1 envelope, plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake fresh yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooked
- 1 egg
- 1/3 jar caramel topping
To make the honey almond praline: Melt the butter, add sugar and honey, cook until bubbly and ingredients marry. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. Let this mixture cool.
To make the custard filling: First place the sugar and cornstarch in a small to medium pan. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and milk together. Whisk them into the sugar and starch mixture in the pan. Cook this over low heat and gradually increase to a medium heat bringing the mixture to a boil. The mixture will bubble slowly. Whisk this bubbling mixture for 3 to 4 minutes and remove from heat.
Soak the gelatin in a 1/4 cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Add gelatin mixture to hot custard and whisk. Set aside to cool in a clean bowl. Cover with plastic to keep mixture from crusting and refrigerate until cool.
After mixture has cooled, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla to medium peaks. Fold whipped cream into cooled custard. Make sure to whisk custard to creamy stage before gradually folding in whipping cream. Refrigerate until ready to fill split cake layers.
To make the cake: Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add yeast and sugar to the well. Add milk, cooled melted butter, and egg, and let sit for 2 minutes to soften yeast, whisk yeast and liquid ingredients only to dissolve yeast. Gradually whisk or beat in flour until well is blended. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead in enough flour only until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading approximately 5 to 7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let dough rest approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
Punch dough down. Roll or pat dough into 9 inch, greased pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Spread cooled honey almond praline over dough. Let cake rest and double in height approximately, 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake until golden approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
To assemble the cake: Cut cooled cake in half to make 2 layers. Drizzle 1/3 jar caramel over bottom layer. Top with the custard mixture. Place the top layer over the custard and refrigerate or freeze for several hours to firm up custard before cutting.
This recipe can be doubled and made into a half sheet cake the size of a jellyroll pan, this is wonderful to serve for breakfast gatherings, this cake will not be too sweet. If baking in half sheet, use a piece of cardboard to lift off top half of cake, you can use a flattened paper plate on round cake layers.