It’s finally time for me to post the raspberry-almond cake. For a long time I didn’t give out this recipe. I know that sounds bad, but it’s my favorite and everyone loves it so I wanted it to be special when I made it. Or I would hate to go to a covered dish dinner and someone else maked this cake. Also it’s not the easiest cake to make either. The biggest reason is that this cake holds a funny and special memory for me…
The first time I made this cake was not long after Dean and I were married and our friend Todd was graduating from Virginia Tech. We were having people over for dinner and a celebration. I decided to make homemade lasagna and two desserts – the raspberry almond cake and a triple chocolate bundt cake. Dean was working late at the newspaper, and I was home baking away. As I was about to put the melted jelly between the layers of the cake, I picked up the sauce pan and touched a very hot piece of metal on the handle. I immediately dropped the pan, and by dropped the pan, I mean to the floor. It was one of those slow motion moments. I could only watch the pan fall to the ground and the jelly come flying out, because as it hit the floor it turned sideways and all the sticky red raspberry jelly went in a huge scatter pattern. Unfortunately, Fluffy, my trusted cat companion, was standing at ground zero. Fluffy was splattered with hot raspberry jelly. Fortunately for him, his name was true. He was very fluffy and the jelly was only on his fur, his whole right side. Of course he took off running into the dining room. I grabbed him up, made sure he was OK (he was), and put him in the bathroom so he wouldn’t go and get raspberry jelly everywhere.
Then the kitchen mess – well I hate to say this but we had carpet in our kitchen. I have no idea why my mother would do that, but she did. As I grab the Resolve and start scrubbing, I look up on the wall about 12 feet behind ground zero and see the whole wall has jelly on it. I wish I would have had the forethought to get my camera, but I was so focused on the mess and people coming to the house the next day I felt like I was in some bad candid camera episode.
After I got the kitchen cleaned up, I went in to clean up Fluffy. When I opened the door I found a perfectly clean cat. He had cleaned every last bit of the jelly off of him. What a good cat! Also this story wasn’t funny for a very long time, thankfully now it cracks me up.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do. And if you do decide to make it, remember fondly my sweet little gray and white cat covered with red jelly. 🙂
Almond-Scented White Cake (with Raspberries)
Williams-Sonama Kitchen Library – Cakes, Cupcakes, and Cheesecakes
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup raspberry preserves, melted
1 1/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted, cooled (optional)
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350F. Butter and flour 2 round cake pans each 9 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; smooth with the spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and again beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts until well blended.
Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer on a plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting over the top, then drizzle on 1/4 cup of the melted preserves. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with a third cake layer and again repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with the fourth cake layer, cut side down. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Ring the top with raspberries and press the toasted almonds onto the sides, if using. Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.