Almond layer cake with blueberry jam and a honey and thyme infused mascarpone whipped cream
It’s that time a year again! With holidays just around the corner you may find yourself looking for a dessert recipe that will blow everyone’s mind. Look no further, you found it. This recipe takes the cake, the pie, the cookies, and the whole dang sweet shop. Generally speaking, I don’t even really like cake. Excluding carrot cake and ice cream cakes, I find it a little too dry, too dense, and too sweet for my liking. But this isn’t just any cake. Using ground up almonds in place of flour helps to create a moist and light, melt in your mouth bite that has a delightful texture and just the right amount of sweetness. Plus, the almonds help to make it a little more nutritionally viable than your traditional layer cake, and it’s gluten free! Three cheers for almonds! At the center of this layer cake, I used my homemade wild Maine blueberry jam. It’s a beautiful compliment to the almond flavor and also, it will be refreshing to have something other than apple or pumpkin on your Thanksgiving dessert table. If you are short on time, just pick up your favorite brand of jam and use that. I won’t tell anyone. The blueberry is marvelous but blackberry would be something fierce also.
And finally, the honey and thyme mascarpone whipped cream takes it next level, cartwheels down the hallway, (expletive) awesome. The thyme is so very, very subtle but teases the palate in the most lovely way.
You can prep mostly everything in advance (except whipping the cream and frosting the cake), making this an even more perfect addition to your holiday table.
Ingredients: 24 oz raw almonds w/ skin 2 c sugar 6 eggs 2 tsp baking powder 4 Tbsp melted butter 1 c blueberry jam 2 c heavy cream 8 oz chilled mascarpone 4 Tbsp raw honey small bunch of fresh thyme (plus more for garnish) handful of fresh blueberries, for garnish
Directions: Make up to a week ahead: Blueberry jam. Use my recipe here (you can substitute regular blueberries if you can’t find wild. Or use blackberries!) OR...buy some jam. No one needs to know.
Make 2 days ahead: Thyme infused cream. Put thyme and cream in a tightly sealed jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make 1 day ahead: Almond Cakes. Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Grease 2, 8” springform cake pans. Grind up your almonds in a food processor until they are very fine, just before they start to turn into almond butter. In a large bowl, whip sugar and eggs until fluffy and light with a high speed electric beater. Mix in ground up almonds, baking powder, and butter. Divide evenly amongst springforms. Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before covering the springform with plastic wrap. Set aside until you are ready to assemble your cake. *The cake will fall a little as it cools.Make just before serving: Honey and thyme mascarpone whipped cream. Remove thyme sprigs from cream. In a medium/large bowl, whip the mascarpone with an electric beater. Add the honey and whip until combined. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and continue whipping until it becomes light and fluffy.
Assembling the cake: Carefully remove one cake from springform and place on your serving plate. Spread jam evenly on top of cake before placing the second almond cake on top of that. Now you are ready for that billowy gorgeous whipped cream! To ensure a pristine white frosting, free of crumbs, do a crumb coat! This means cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting then refrigerate it for 30 minutes. This will firm up the frosting and keep crumbs from tarnishing your beautiful whipped cream. Take it out of the fridge and spread the remaining frosting all over your cake. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a thyme sprig. Enjoy!