Italian Rainbow Cake
(Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf cake)
Italian Rainbow Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces almond paste
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon almond extract
1-1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red and green food coloring
1/3 cup cherry, raspberry or apricot preserves
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
Colored sprinkles (optional)
To make the cake:
Butter three 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Break up the almond paste into small piecees and add it to the bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes until it is well combined. Add the eggs, milk and almond extract; beat to incorporated them into the butter mixture. Then beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until the batter is smooth and well blended.
Evenly divide the batter into 3 bowls.
Add red food coloring to the batter in one bowl; stir until the desired color is achieved. Do the same with the green food coloring. Pour each color batter into its own prepared loaf pan; smooth the top of each to form an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick insertedinto the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake layers onto the wire rack and remove the parchment paper. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
To assemble the cake:
Heat the fruit preserves in a small saucepan just to melt to a liquid consistency. Pour the preserves through a strainer into a small bowl to remove any lumps. Place the green cake layer on a serving platter. Spread half of the fruit preserves on top in an even layer. Place the white layer on top; spread with the remaining preserves, and then add the final red cake layer. Allow the cake to rest while you make the icing.
To make the icing:
Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a microwave or small saucepan, until the edges start to bubble. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk the chocolate gently until smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature; it will thicken as it cools.
Take four strips of parchment paper and tuck them halfway under and around the bottom of the cake on the platter (this will keep your cake platter clean while you add the icing). Use a spoon or small spatula to cover the top and sides with about 3/4 of the chocolate icing. This is a crumb-coat, so it doesn't have to look perfect. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes. The add the remaining icing, using an offset spatula or knife to smooth it over the first coat. Add candy sprinkles to the top, if desired.
This tri-colored cake is inspired by the classic Italian rainbow cookies, also known as Venetian Layered Cookies, looks and tastes like the cookies but this time it's a giant cake. Colorful layers of almond cake are sandwiched together with fruit preserves and covered with a chocolate ganache icing. A beautiful dessert for Christmas or any special occasion.
You will need three loaf pans of the same size to bake the individual layers, unless you choose to bake one layer at a time.
Almond paste is a mixture of ground blanched almonds and sugar. It can be expensive to buy but you can make it at home with this recipe,
Delicious recipe made with almond paste ... Pignoli Cookies
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