ALMOND PINEAPPLE CREAM CAKE

ALMOND PINEAPPLE CREAM CAKE

Multi-layered almond, apricot, cranberry cake, filled with alternating layers of vanilla whipped soy cream frosting and red grape filling, frosted with pineapple soy whipped cream frosting and topped with additional red grape filling. WOW!

Serves 12-16

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Red Grape filling:

3 c. fresh red seedless grapes

1 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c. water, in a cup

1/4 -1/2 t. cinnamon

light dash salt

Place all ingredients in large saucepan. Stir well to coat grapes. Cook over low heat for a total of about 30 minutes. Stir often in the beginning till juice releases from the grapes and it thickens somewhat. Then, partially cover and continue cooking till it resembles cherry pie filling. Remove from heat. Cover with lid and refrigerate–in the pan–till cold.

Pineapple Sauce:

6 canned pineapple rings from a lg. can; process in food processor till crushed

2 T. cornstarch dissolved in 2/3 c. pineapple juice from the can, in a cup

1/2 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Stir well. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously till thickened. When it comes to a boil, continue to stir on low heat for 3-5 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Chill in refrigerator till cold.

Cake Batter – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 c. whole almonds, processed in food processor till coarsely and evenly chopped

1 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla extract

1 T. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 c. flour

20 dried apricots, processed in food processor till coarsely and evenly chopped

1/2 c. dried cranberries combined with 1 c. water in small saucepan; bring to boil and cook till soft; remove from heat; do not drain; you want the liquid

1-1/2 c. water

In large mixing bowl, combine one ingredient at a time and stir well after each addition. After you add the water and stir it into the other ingredients, beat the batter with a sturdy spoon for about a minute. Do not use mixer.

Throughly grease 2, 8 inch round cake pans, bottoms and sides. Pour equal amounts of batter into each pan. Lift pans and drop lightly on countertop to even out the batter. Let set for a few minutes till you can see tiny bubbles form in the batter.

Place on middle rack of preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle of cakes. Remove from oven.

Invert onto cooling racks, lift off pans and cool at room temperature.

Frosting:

2 c. powdered sugar

1/3 c. vegetable shortening

2 t. vanilla extract

2 T. water

Place powdered sugar into medium-sized mixing bowl. Add shortening. Using two forks or a sturdy spoon, mix and mash till all sugar is worked into the shortening.

Add vanilla and water and mix till smooth. If you need a little more powdered sugar, use it. You want a frosting consistency.

Topping:

1-1/2 c. non-dairy whipping cream (Rich’s brand), thawed completely–no ice crystals

1 packet (1/3 oz.) “Whip it” stabilizer for whipped cream, Oetker brand, product of Canada; locate in specialty food markets

Follow the directions on the tin of whipping cream. Place in bowl and whip with wire whisk till it forms soft peaks (this will take a while). Add the “Whip it” stabilizing powder and whip it into firmer peaks–just like you would do with dairy whip cream.

Take 1 c. of the whipped cream and fold it into all of the frosting. Divide it into 3 equal portions.

Remove the chilled red grape filling from the refrigerator and divide it into portions (2 large and 1 a little smaller).

Assembly:

Cut each cake round in half, through the sides, using a knife with small serrated edges–a bread knife will do nicely, while holding your hand on top of the cake, making 2 cake rounds per cake.

Place one of the four cake rounds, rough side up, on decorative plate.

Spread 1/3 of the frosting cream mixture evenly over the top of the cake round.

Spoon red grape filling (a little more than a third), evenly over the frosting.

Place 2nd cake round, rough side down, on top of the grapes.

Spread top with 2nd, 1/3 of frosting cream mixture.

Place 3rd cake round, rough side up, on the frosted cake.

Spread top with remaining frosting cream mixture.

Spoon 2nd portion of red grape filling (a little more than 1/3) over the frosting.

Place fourth cake round, rough side up, on frosted cake.

Now, take chilled pineapple sauce out of refrigerator. Stir to make smooth.

Add the remaining whipped cream to it, then gently fold the cream into the pineapple, using a rubber spatula. (Using the edge of the spatula, insert it through the pineapple with the cream on top–like a knife–then scoop down and bring it over on itself, in a rolling motion. Continue doing this, slowly, until it’s mixed in, but you can still see the separation in the yellow and white colors. Do not stir vigorously. Gently fold. You don’t want to take the air out of the whipped cream).

At this point, when the cake is assembled, and before you spread it with the pineapple cream, insert 4, 6-8 inch long wooden skewers into the top of the cake through to the bottom and let them stay there while you frost the outside of the cake, to keep the layers from slipping and sliding while you frost it. Keep the skewers in after you’re done and while you refrigerate it to prevent it from sliding while it sets.

Now go ahead and frost it with the pineapple cream–top and sides. Pile it high on top first, then do sides from top to bottom–not side to side.

When done, using spatula, swipe pineapple cream lightly, from the plate to the top of the cake, creating a border around the top of the edges of the cake, slightly higher than the cake itself.

Place remaining red grape filling on center of the top of the cake–not to the edges.

Clean plate around with bottom of cake with a clean towel. Refrigerate for several hours. If living n a warm climate, refrigerate longer. Serve chilled.

Notes: To the lady who is going to ask me if she can use a can of crushed pineapple for the pineapple sauce. No. You need the juice in addition to the processed pineapple. Buy the big can of rings.

You can remove the skewers before cutting the cake to serve.

Sure, this cake takes a while to make. However, for the once in a blue moon that you make it, it’s worth the time.

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