Almond Joy® Layer Cake

Almond Joy® Layer Cake
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Ingredients
  1. Cake
  2. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup Dutched cocoa powder
  4. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 1 cup vegetable oil
  9. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  10. 2 teaspoons almond extract
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 cup water
  13. Coconut Filling
  14. 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  15. 1/2 cup water
  16. Pinch salt
  17. 3 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  18. 1 cup heavy cream or 7/8 cup canned coconut milk
  19. Double recipe: Chocolate Ganache or Sauce
  20. 2/3 cup whole almonds
  21. 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 310°F.
  2. Butter and flour three 8-inch baking pans and set aside. (Fitting a round piece of parchment paper on bottom of baking pan is highly recommended for easy removal of cake.)
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sugar and set aside.
  4. In a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients whisk eggs and buttermilk until well combined. Add oil, vanilla, almond extract and salt and whisk smooth.
  5. Meanwhile heat water until hot.
  6. Add dry ingredients buttermilk-egg mixture and whisk smooth. Add hot water in 3 increments, while whisking the batter smooth in between additions.
  7. Divide batter evenly into the pans and place in oven, bake for 40-45 minutes until center of cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or until an inserted toothpick comes clean.
  8. After 5 minutes turn upside down on parchment paper lined surface and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting, about 1 hour.
  9. Meanwhile prepare filling. Bring to boil sugar and water and remove from heat. Add coconut and stir to combine.
  10. Add heavy cream or canned coconut milk in 5 increments stirring in between. Cover with plastic food film and let cool.
  11. Place a cake round on a serving platter and spread with half of coconut filling ensuring to keep 1/2 inch away from edge. Cover with another cake layer and spread remaining coconut mixture on top.
  12. Place remaining cake layer on top. Frost cake using about 2/3 of chocolate ganache. If ganache has not firmed yet to a consistency of regular frosting do the following: Remove half of ganache from bowl and set bowl over a few ice cubes. Stir constantly until slightly thicker. Wait a few minutes and allow ganache to thicken. If ganache was over chilled and has become too firm to spread, soften in a microwave oven in 3-4 second increments.
  13. Scatter whole almonds on top. Heat remaining ganache until lukewarm and pour onto almonds and the surface of the cake. Place sliced almonds around bottom edge of cake (if desired).
  14. Serve cake at room temperature.
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