ALMOND JOY CAKE
The moment you crave something sweet and a candy bar just isn't enough. Make it a cake!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 12-14 Slices
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole almonds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and slightly softened
3 large eggs
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coconut flakes
2 4-oz semi-sweet chocolate bars, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
CANDIED TOASTED ALMONDS
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8-by-2-inch round cake pan
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides of the cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Put the almonds, granulated sugar, salt, and almond extract in the food processor and process until the nuts are finely pulverized. Add the butter and pulse until blended. Add the eggs and process until thoroughly blended. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse just until incorporated, scraping the bowl once with a rubber spatula to be sure.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
To un-mold, slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the sides of the cake to release it. Cover the cake with a serving platter and invert. Remove the pan, peel off the parchment liner, and turn the cake right side up.
Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate.
With a metal spoon or small rubber spatula, very slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. The finer you chopped the chocolate, the quicker it will melt with the cream.
CANDIES TOASTED ALMONDS
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Cook and stir almonds and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and almonds turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer almonds to the prepared baking sheet to cool completely.
Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and set cake on top of wire rack. Pour chocolate ganache over cake. Place coconut flakes along the sides of cake and 1/4" on the top. Carefully finish with candied toasted almonds along the edge of the coconut.
Cover well and refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. Cake is best for 3-4 days.