Special equipment: Four 9-inch cake pans, a pastry bag with a frosting tip and a candy thermometer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter four 9-inch round cake pans, dusting them in flour to ensure the batter does not stick to the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites until incorporated. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the almond and vanilla extracts. Continue to beat on medium speed and add 1/3 of the sifted flour mixture until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture, again beating until incorporated. Again, add 1/3 of the sifted flour and, once incorporated, add the rest of the buttermilk mixture until homogeneous. Finally, add in the remaining flour mixture and continue beating the batter on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes to insure the ingredients are well mixed.
Divide the batter evenly among the four pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place the cakes on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife between the rim of the pan and the cake to insure the cake will cleanly detach. Remove the cakes from the pans and invert on the rack until completely cool.
To assemble the cake:
Level each layer of almond cake with a cake leveler or serrated knife. Place a spoonful of buttercream on your serving plate, followed by your first layer of cake, cut-side up. Place the remaining buttercream in a pastry bag with a frosting tip.
Evenly cover your first layer with about 1/3 cup of creme frangipane. Next create a moat of buttercream around the layer of cake with the piping bag in preparation for the lingonberry jam. Evenly spread 1/3 cup lingonberry jam within the moat. Finish the layer by piping icing over the layer, about a 1/4 inch thick.
Add the next layer of cake and repeat the previous steps. Repeat with the third layer of cake. Complete the cake with the 4th layer of cake, cut-side down. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream and top with a few lingonberries from the jam.
Be sure all tools are thoroughly degreased before beginning. (I usually use lemon juice or vinegar to remove all traces of grease.)
In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of water with the almond and vanilla extracts and set aside. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks on medium speed for 1 minute. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, place 1/2 cup water and the sugar on the stove. Bring the sugar and water to a boil until it reaches 238 degrees F. DO NOT STIR. Stirring will cause the sugar crystals to adhere to the edge of the saucepan, causing the syrup to become grainy. Be sure not to overcook the sugar, as it will crystalize and form brittle chunks in your frosting. Once the syrup is heated to 238 degrees F, immediately remove from the heat. Slowly and steadily stream the syrup into the eggs while mixing on low, avoiding the edge of the bowl as well as the whisk. Once the eggs and syrup are incorporated, add in the extract mixture and beat on medium speed until completely cool, 3 to 5 minutes.
Beat in the butter, one piece at a time until silky smooth. (If your buttercream curdles, do not despair! Simply heat the bowl over the stove until slightly warmed, 10 to 20 seconds, until the buttercream becomes slightly melted near the edge of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth.)
In a food processor, pulse the almond paste until crumbly. Add the cream, sugar, butter, flour, almond extract, vanilla extract and salt and pulse until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.
Creme frangipane is generally made with an egg and used as a filling for tarts and pastries. In this recipe, I've replaced the egg with whipping cream to not only act as a binder, but also allow it to be used as a filling in the cake without baking. You'll also find this creme frangipane is not quite as thick and easier to spread on your cake.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
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