Cream Cheese Almond Cake with Almond Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1t. almond extract
1 T. Amaretto
1 recipe of Almond Pastry Cream (for filling and frosting)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 9" cake pans. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, beating until fluffy. Add 2 eggs at a time, alternating with 1 cup of flour at a time. Repeat with remaining eggs and flour. Stir in almond extract and Amaretto. Divide evenly into three prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
Almond Pastry Cream
3 c. half and half
3/4 c. chopped (or sliced) toasted almonds
1 1/2 t. almond extract
2 vanilla beans, split
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
6 egg yolks
1 T. butter
In a saucepan, combine half and half, almonds, almond extract and insides of vanilla beans over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, and cornstarch. Add egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Gradually add 1/4 of hot half and half mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then add all of bowl back into saucepan of hot half and half. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until thick and beginning to boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in 1 T. of butter until melted. Put mixture in a plastic bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing gently so wrap touches mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Refridgerate 2 hours, or until cool.
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup butter
10 c. powdered sugar
2 T. Amaretto
1 1/2 cups of almond pastry cream
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, and Amaretto. Fold in Almond Pastry Cream
Spread 3/4 cup of almond pastry cream between layers. Top each layer with some slice toasted almonds. Frost sides and top of cake with frosting (I reserved a little frosting before adding almond pastry cream to pipe around base of cake, as almonds would clog pastry bag tip.) Garnish with sliced toasted almonds.