There is no better way to celebrate the end of a year or the beginning of a future than with a triple layer triple color ganache-covered cake.
(That's a fact. Medically proven.*
Or that your family made it to Christmas dessert without a single ounce of blood being shed. And with a less than double-digit number of attempts to pay you to eat sausage. See, they're really trying to understand this whole vegetarian thing.
(I doubt it has anything to do with the fact that you threatened to withhold cake from them if they didn't stop. And has everything to do with their growing compassion and the Christmas spirit deep within their souls. Right.) <-- DELUSION.
Seriously, though. They do say that the first day of the year really sets the tone for the other 364 that are to follow.
And well. Our rooms may not be clean and our clothes may not be folded.
Our experiments might never work.
And no matter how many times we put away all our cookbooks, they are still going to end up strewn all over our floors and under our pillows within 24 hours.
But at least we can be totally rockstar cake bakers.
Maybe leave our ugly sweaters at home, though? That's not really the tone we want to set for the new year.
(Note - Daniel wanted us to make serious faces. This was a "Joanne fail" type of situation. Holly (the dog) was much more concerned about the wrapping paper invading her floor space. Typical.)
But really. Deliriously happy, cake-baking, skinny-jean wearing, rockstars. Let's be those people in 2012. I know we can.
I'm going to save my sappy "ohmygodanotheryearhaspassed" post for Monday because it will also happen to be the anniversary of the only New Years resolution that I have ever truly faithfully kept.
But have a safe and happy and wonderful New Year's everyone!
I couldn't do this without you. You're my rock(star)s.
(PS - My run was awesome, by the way. 3.5 miles of heaven. I'm still high on it.)
Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake
Makes one 9" triple layer cake, adapted from Always Order Dessert
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 12 oz almond paste, grated
- 1 tbsp pure almond extract
- 3 cups AP flour, sifted
- 3 tsp baking powder
- red, green and yellow coloring gels or liquid coloring (I used gels)
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate (I used Guittard)
- Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with a round of parchment paper on the bottom.
- In the base of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 3 more minutes. Add the grated almond paste and almond extract and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder then slowly add to the almond paste batter and mix until combined.
- Separate the mixture evenly into three bowls. Dye each bowl a different shade (one green, one yellow, one red).
- Pour each color of the mixture into individual pans making sure to smooth out the top. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache by heating 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan just until bubbles start to form around the edge. Turn off the heat and pour over the chocolate in a large bowl. Stir continuously until melted completely and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Start with the pink layer of the cake and spread with the raspberry jam until it nearly reaches the edges of the cake. Top with the yellow cake. Spread this with the apricot preserves. Top with the final green layer.
- Use a spoon to pour the ganache over the cake, using an offset spatula to even the sides and make sure the cake is completely covered. Use as much ganache as you need. Let sit at room temperature in a cool spot for 1-2 hours until completely set.