Fluffy almond birthday cake?
I'm planning to make my own birthday cake soon to share with friends at home. This year I'd like a girly-girl cake like the one my mom used to make me when I was a child. I'm envisioning fluffy white cake layers flavored with almond extract, filled and iced with sweetened whipped cream (stabilized with gelatin perhaps?), with chopped-up maraschino cherries in between the layers. I may or may not garnish the top or sides with toasted almond slivers for a slightly grown-up touch. Or I might go with coconut for the outside instead. I might like to try a rolled maripan layer in between the outside of the cake and the whipped cream. I know of a great recipe for a one-layer butter cake made with almond paste in a springform pan, but that's not what I'm going for here. I need fluffy, red-and-white girlitude.
I'd welcome your recipes or recommendations for the almond white cake layers. Comments on piping with stabilized whipped cream and on rolling marzipan to cover a cake also most welcome. Thanks!
I made Cook's Illustrated Classic White Cake and it was good, but too sweet for me. When making my brother's birthday cake, I used the blogger's recipe from here:
S/he did a great comparison between several white cake recipes. I liked the blogger's recipe, but it called for a bit too much almond extract for my taste. So I reduced the almond extract to 1 teaspoon and it was perfect for me. I wanted a subtle almond flavor, so you might want to keep to the recipe if you want the almond flavor to shine through. I loved the texture and it was not too sweet! My family said it tasted like it came from a bakery that we used to frequent before it closed up shop. They may have just been playing with my ego, but it was good!
For the stabilized whipped cream frosting, I used this recipe:
The recipe is called a filling, but I had great success with frosting cakes with it and it has become my standard frosting to use. With a stabilized whipped cream frosting, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours for the gelatin to do its magic. Then it's pretty easy to pipe. Add coloring during the mixing stage.
Sorry, I don't know anything about rolling marzipan . . .
If you already have a fluffy white cake recipe you like, how about making it, and soaking with a bit of almond-flavored (or almond liqueur?) flavored syrup before frosting with the whipped cream? Slicing each layer in half so you get even MORE filling in between? I don't think whipped cream, even stabilized, would hold the slivered almonds for long on the sides of your cake, so do it at the very last minute, or just put them in a decorative edge on top. You sure you want rolled marzipan, or rolled fondant? And, be sure to pat the chopped maraschino cherries dry, but you probably already know that. Maraschinos are a guilty-pleasure I also share! Happy birthday!