Friday, December 4, 2009

The Most Amazing Birthday Cake Ever!

Well, maybe not. But this delectable confection made me smile so much that I had to write down the recipe before I forgot. This is unusual, because I normally just improvise while baking, pulling bits and pieces from various recipes. This time, I just have to document!

My friend's birthday is tomorrow and I volunteered (actually, begged) to bring her a cake to celebrate. She has been dealing with some rather unpleasant digestive issues that have required strict elimination diets, no wheat, no caffeine, etc. However, she is taking a "day off" for her 24th and allowing herself some of these taboo food items. Therefore, I wanted to make something especially tasty and decadent. Here goes:

Kahlua Almond Decadence Cake with Chocolate Ganache


1 1/4 cups ground almond meal
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup Kahlua or other coffee or nut liqueur
2/3 cup plain/vanilla soy or almond milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs white vinegar
1/4 cup tapioca flour or starch
1 1/2 cups white or raw sugar (may sub 1/2 cup brown sugar, but should not use liquid sweetener).

1. Pulse slivered or sliced raw almonds in food processor until a coarse meal (unless already done).
2. Add flours and pulse another few times. Add powder and salt and pulse once.
3. In a large bowl combine oil, milk, and liqueur. Add sugar and mix.
4. Combine tapioca flour with a whisk until smooth. Add vinegar.
5. Incorporate dry mixture until everything is shiny and smooth.
6. Split between two 9-inch diameter round pans.
7. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, until starting to brown.
8. Let cool completely.


6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (if using sweetened, adjust added sugar to taste)
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar (more or less to taste; can blend same 3/4 c granulated sugar with 1 tbs cornstarch or arrowroot powder until fine)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee (optional)
1/4 cup soy or almond milk

Heat over double broiler, stirring often, until smooth and shiny.

Un-pan one layer of the cake. Cut off top to it is flat. Spread ganache generously over top. Un-pan second layer and place on top of first. Frost entire cake with ganache. Garnish with finely sliced almonds.


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