Recipe courtesy of Steven Barela

Almond Cake with Cream Cheese, Ganache and Fresh Strawberry Filling, Vanilla Buttercream Icing and Pink Poured Fondant

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 6 hr 25 min (including cooling times)
  • Active: 3 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 35 to 45 servings
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Ingredients

Ganache:

Cream Cheese Filling:

Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

Pink Poured Fondant:

Directions

Special equipment:
Two 16-inch cake pans
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Prepare two 16-inch cake pans by greasing them and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, add the liquid shortening, inverted sugar and vanilla. Then add the cake flour, granulated sugar, milk powder, baking powder, sea salt and cream of tartar. Mix on speed 1 for 1 minute. Then add half of the egg whites and mix on speed 1 for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining egg whites and mix on speed 1 for 1 minute. Then mix on speed 3 for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and add the whole eggs, water and almond extract. Mix on speed 1 for 1 minute. Then on speed 3 for 3 minutes. Lastly, mix on speed 1 for 10 minutes.
  5. Fill the cake pans two-thirds full and bake until golden and a tester such as a toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely.
  6. To assemble the cake: Torte the cooled cakes (level and split them horizontally into 2 layers each). Generously spread a layer of the Ganache on the first layer of cake, then a generous layer of Cream Cheese Filling. Layer some fresh strawberries on top of the Cream Cheese Filling. Repeat with the next 2 cake layers. Top with the last cake layer and ice the cake smooth with the Vanilla Buttercream Icing. Lastly, pour a thin layer of Pink Poured Fondant over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Ganache:

Yield: Enough for one 16-inch layer cake.
  1. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, heat the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, stirring between each intervals. Add the cream and mix with a spatula until smooth. Let cool. 

Cream Cheese Filling:

Yield: Enough for one 16-inch layer cake.
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and cream cheese until smooth. Then add the confectioners' sugar, sea salt, vanilla and butter emulsion. Mix it all on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

Yield: Enough for one 16-inch layer cake.
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening until smooth. Then add the confectioners' sugar, sea salt, vanilla and butter emulsion. 
  2. Mix it all on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Pink Poured Fondant:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the confectioners' sugar, then the water, corn syrup, almond extract, vanilla, liquid whitener and food coloring. Mix it all on medium speed until smooth, about 10 minutes. Yield: enough for one 16-inch layer cake.

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