Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake with Coconut Cream and Chopped Almond Filling, Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache and a Coconut and Almond Topping
I loved baking this cake! During construction, I loved putting these wonderful flavors together and could almost imagine how each slice might taste.
Unlike many of my cakes, this cake was baked for a special purpose. I was able to trade a cake for services in town. I love trading for success! #bartersystem
I refer to this cake as an Almond Joy Layer Cake..."sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!" But in Germany, the Bounty Bar is produced by Mars and does not have any almonds.
This dessert begins with three layers of Chocolate Cake, 8" rounds. Two layers of Coconut Cream Filling is the perfect pairing for this Almond Joy Cake.
When all three layers were completely cooled, I started building this cake. Since this cake was being delivered, I used a Wilton cake round at the base for easy and convenient transportation.
Due to the height and weight of the cake, I carefully assessed the need for interior supports - none were necessary, so that step was cleared. What would be an indicator that supports would be needed? If the layers are slipping and sliding apart (due in part to a filling that is more liquid and less gooey) - that's a sure sign some type of structural support is needed.
Baking is part architecture, part science, and part artistic impression.
The Coconut Filling was easy to make; I definitely had to put some muscle into it.
Set aside just a bit of the coconut to garnish the finished cake. With the remaining coconut, divide in half. After carefully spreading on the coconut, liberally sprinkle chopped almonds.
I opted to crumb coat the cake in vanilla buttercream since I hadn't decided if I wanted to buttercream the structure in vanilla or milk chocolate. In the end, sticking closer to an Almond Joy candy bar - milk chocolate just makes more sense.
I didn't have the chocolate ganache finished by the time I prepared the buttercream frosting, so I added a tablespoon of Hershey's Baking Chocolate to the whipped butter before adding the powdered sugar. Hot tip: Adding the chocolate directly into the butter allows the chocolate to emulsify and allows the flavor to 'open up' and the color to become quite appetizing. Adding the chocolate after the powdered sugar leaves an unpleasant grey color and the buttercream just isn't very smooth.
The consistency of the ganache was just perfect...I used 72% cacao, which makes for a very delicious pairing with the sweetness of the buttercream combined with the sweet coconut cream filling. Don't be afraid to work with dark chocolate.
I added a bit of garnish to the top of the cake - it's a little bit of a hint at what lies on the inside.
I'm really happy with the results of this cake - and look forward to making it again. There are so many good flavors in this cake!
It's such an exciting time to be here at that transition from Winter into Spring...I'm grateful for the opportunities and relationships in my life. Most importantly, sobriety is a miracle. And, my life partner is my best friend and head cheerleader. #feelinglucky