Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kahlua Cake


Doesn’t this look delicious? It should because it is!! This is what I made Kevin for his birthday cake and I took some pictures so I could share with you.
Two things I want to point out: 1) I cook a lot, so please do not judge my utensils by looks alone. They have earned their scars and various stains. 2) I took these in a kitchen that only has one light bulb right now. It’s a long story about that, but let’s just say I am sick of buying bulbs at $8.00 a pop.
This cake has a lot of steps, and I don’t want that to turn you off of it. Most of them can be done in advance and it really is easy.
You need to get a chocolate cake. Make it from scratch, make it from a mix, buy a cake from the lady next door. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s chocolate and baked in a 9x13 pan.
Now, go make a box of cook and serve vanilla pudding. It has to cool all the way, so making it the night before is probably a good idea.
Mmmmmmm, pudding.
Make some simple syrup. People, this is simple. Just mix 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and heat on low/medium until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour a small bottle of kahlua into the simple syrup. You probably won’t use the whole cup of syrup, but I can think of other uses for it. Brownies anyone?
Ok, now we get to make the best part, the ALMONDS!!!! I do not recommend doing this until the day you are going to use them. They get soggy. I’m sorry for that, but it is what it is.
First you crack 3 eggs and separate the whites into a bowl with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
Whip those babies on high until they are stiff but not dry.
Now, add 2 cups of slivered almonds and stir them gently. It’s going to look like way too much meringue for that amount of almonds, but I promise it will be fine.
Next, spread them out on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, like so,
and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes and about every 5 min after. They will get all clumpy like this:

and that is good. Keep stirring them until they are golden brown and delicious (or GBD for all you AB fans). Now we get to put it all together.
Cut your cake in half. It isn’t scary and you can do it, use a long serrated bread knife and gentle back and forth sawing motions and you will be fine. And if you aren’t, it’s ok. Just stick it back together as you ice it.
Put the bottom layer on something, I used an upside down cookie sheet. If you are taking it somewhere nice, cut a piece of cardboard about 11" x 15” and cover it in tinfoil. Now that you have the bottom layer down and you are going to take some of that kahlua-simple syrup mixture and drizzle it on the cake. Liberally. I also do the top on the cut side. Don’t make it so wet that it’s soggy, but you want every bite to have that flavor. I use a teaspoon and drizzle away. Next we are going to smear on some hot fudge for ice cream, but don’t heat it up. I guess that would make it cold hot fudge. Does that even make sense? I hope so.
After the hot fudge you are gonna slather on that pudding. You remember the pudding right? It should be in the fridge. it will look something like this:

I apologize for the bottom of my cookie sheet. It has seen better days. Slap on the top layer and whip up a pint of whipped cream with about a 1/3 cup powdered sugar. DO NOT USE COOL WHIP. It won’t taste the same. Frost your cake with the whipped cream and liberally apply the almonds. Everywhere. The top, the sides, anywhere an almond will stick. Put a little (cold) hot fudge into a zip top bag and snip off the corner. drizzle it on your cake in any design that you like. It’s your cake after all and it all tastes the same!!
You will end up with a cake that looks like this:

And it will taste like heaven! Go forth and bake. You will not be disappointed.