Cherry Almond Cake
Cherries and almonds are close botanical relatives, and they're famously compatible in desserts. Here, they meld lusciously in a three-tier cake layered with sour-cherry jam and buttercream and cloaked in marzipan.
- Yield: Makes about 13 cups batter
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2006
FOR THE ALMOND CAKES:
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 4 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 34 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups light-brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
FOR THE ASSEMBLY:
- Cherry-Jam Gelatin
- 1 1/2 recipes Cherry Buttercream
- 8 pounds marzipan, plus more for cake board
- Royal icing, tinted to match marzipan
- Marzipan cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cake pans with cooking spray; cover bottoms with parchment, and coat again. Sift together flours and confectioners' sugar. Set aside.
Put egg whites, brown sugar, and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in flour mixture. Divide batter among prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks; let cool in pans slightly. Invert cakes onto racks. Remove parchment; reinvert. Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature up to 1 day.
To assemble: Lift out a gelatin layer, and invert onto a corresponding-size cake layer; remove plastic. Trim if needed. Spread with buttercream (see note below for amounts). Repeat. Stack, placing plain layer on top. Thinly coat tiers with buttercream; chill. Smooth marzipan over tiers. Pipe royal icing around base of each tier. Decorate finished cake with marzipan cherries.
Note: Batter amounts and cooking times are for 3-inch-deep round pans. 6-inch-diameter: 2 cups batter per layer (6 cups total), 40 minutes; 10-inch-diameter: 8 cups batter per layer (24 cups total), 40 minutes; 14-inch-diameter: 15 cups batter per layer (45 cups total), 50 minutes. Filling, frosting, and marzipan amounts for each tier are as follows. 6-inch-diameter: 1/3 cup gelatin per layer (2/3 cup total), 3/4 cup buttercream per layer, 1 cup buttercream for exterior (2 1/2 cups total), 1 1/2 pounds marzipan; 10-inch-diameter: 1 cup gelatin per layer (2 cups total), 2 cups buttercream per layer, 2 cups buttercream for exterior (6 cups total), 2 1/2 pounds marzipan; 14-inch-diameter: 2 cups gelatin per layer (4 cups total), 5 cups buttercream per layer, 4 cups buttercream for exterior (14 cups total), 4 pounds marzipan.