Anniversary Chocolate-Buttermilk Layer Cake with Toffee and Toasted Almonds
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pureed red ripe peeled tomatoes (canned crushed tomatoes work also)
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups buttermilk
- For Filling:
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- For Frosting:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk, plus more if needed
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Powdered sugar
- For Assembly:
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 cup toffee bits
- Chocolate curls, for garnish
In a free standing mixer, add both sugars and butter until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and tomatoes. In a separate large bowl, combine cocoa, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat cocoa mixture into butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions. Pour into prepared pans. Bake cakes for 32 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean and tops of cake spring back at the touch. Cool cakes for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and cool completely on racks.
Meanwhile, Prepare whipped ganache filling: In a large saucepan, heat 1 cup cream to boiling. Stir in chocolate. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cool ganache completely. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining 1 cup cream until soft peaks form. Stir in ganache mixtue, stirring gently to not deflate cream. Refrigerate until assembly time.
Prepare frosting by combining butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat until fluffy. Stir in buttermilk, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat in enough powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until light and fluffy, adding more buttermilk if necessary.
To assemble cake, trim tops of cake with a serrated knife so that they are perfectly even and flat. Place 1 cake layer on cake platter. Spread with half of ganache filling, not quite to the edges. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup almonds, and 1/3 cup toffee bits. Repeat with next layer. Top with final cake layer. Frost entire tops and outsides of cake with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle tops of cake with remaining toffee and almonds, and garnish with chocolate curls. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.
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