Sky-High Spiced Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Almond Cream

Sky-High Spiced Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Almond Cream

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 3/4 sugar
3 egg yolks, room temp.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup buttermilk, room temp.

Chocolate Almond Cream
3 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, melted

Chocolate Filling
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoon water

1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
2 cup very coarsely chopped toasted almonds


Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter and flour bottoms only of three 8 inch round cake pans.

Sift first 5 ingredients into bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter in another bowl until thick and almost fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until mixture triples in volume.

Beat in yolks 1 at a time.

Blend in chocolate and extracts.

Add 1/3 of dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.

Add half butter milk and mix just to incorporate.

Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and butter milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide batter among the three pans evenly. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn onto racks and cool completely. (Can be prepared up to three months in advance, wrapped and frozen. Thaw before assembling.)


Scald first four ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk in melted chocolate and continue whisking until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)


Melt chocolate and butter in water in top of double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring frequently. Keep filling warm.


Using electric mixer, beat chocolate almond cream until soft peaks form.

Using a long, serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half.

Set 1 half on platter, top side down. Spread with 2-1/2 tablespoon warm chocolate filling. Sprinkle with generous 3 tablespoon finely chopped almonds. Spread with 1/3 cup chocolate almond cream.

Repeat layering process 4 more times, ending with cake.

Frost top and sides with remaining chocolate almond cream. Press coarsely chopped almonds onto sides of cake.

Cool remaining filling to lukewarm. Drizzle 1/3 cup decoratively over cake (reserve remaining filling for other uses, be creative).

Chill cake well.

Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.

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