Almond Layer Cake With White Chocolate Buttercream + Mandarin Curd

In this exquisite dessert, an almond ‘butter’ cake is stacked with spicy mandarin curd and cloud-like white chocolate buttercream. This lovely cake is perfect for the citrus season, when aromatic mandarins are abundant.

Ingredients

cake

  • 2 cups almond milk, or other non‐dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp mandarin zest, from about 3 large mandarins
  • 1/4 cup mandarin juice, from about 2 large mandarins
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all‐purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 225 g / 1 cup / 2 sticks vegan butter, softened, I use nuttelex buttery
  • 1 1/2 cups raw caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tbsp extract

curd

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp mandarin zest, from about 2 large mandarins
  • 1 cup mandarin juice, from about 8 large mandarins, strained
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 125 g raw caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 100 g vegan butter

frosting

  • 250 g vegan butter
  • 3 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 100g cacao butter, melted and cooled
  • 5 tbsp mandarin curd
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste, or 1 tbsp extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

Instructions

cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and grease and line two 20 cm / 8 inch round cake pans with baking paper on the bottom and sides. Whisk together the almond milk, mandarin zest and juice, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Allow 10 minutes for it to activate and become ‘buttermilk.’ Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a large mixing basin. Remove from the equation.
  2. Cream the butter until it is slightly beaten in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing basin with a hand mixer, then add the sugar and vanilla paste and beat until blended and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Now carefully add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the beaten butter while beating on low speed, then slowly add 1/2 of the milk combination, then another 1/3 of the flour mix, then the remaining milk mixture, and lastly the last 1/3 of the flour mix. Turn the mixer off once the last amount of flour has been incorporated.
  3. Bake the cakes on the middle rack of the oven for 45–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and cool thoroughly on a cooling rack before taking them from the tins and assembling. It will be simpler to assemble the layers if you refrigerate them for an hour before doing so.

curd

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, mandarin zest, and orange and lemon juices, whisking constantly. Whisk in the sugar and milk, then simmer, whisking frequently, over a low-medium heat until the sugar melts. Stir with a wooden spoon until the curd thickens (the back of the spoon should be coated!). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is well incorporated. Chill in an airtight jar until absolutely cold.

frosting

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand beater), cream the butter until smooth. Mix in the icing sugar until it’s well mixed and frothy. Slowly pour in 1 tbsp of cacao butter at a time on medium speed, then increase to high and beat for 5 minutes, or until extremely frothy and cloud-like. Beat in the curd, vanilla, and almond milk for another 2-3 minutes, or until well mixed. Frosting should be done at room temperature.

assembly

  1. Place one cake on a serving dish, cover with 3/4 cup frosting, pipe a layer of frosting around the perimeter to seal in the curd (kind of like a moat), and fill the centre with about 1/3 cup cooled curd. Place the next cake layer on top, then continue until the last cake layer is in place. For a naked cake look, coat the cake with a thin coating of frosting and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour before serving to firm the layers.

Source: The Floured Kitchen

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