We actually came up with this almond praline vanilla cake because we wanted to make a perfect dessert for our parents anniversary dinner. None of them are chocolate fans, so we decided on a vanilla cake, with dulce de leche. They don´t like buttercream either, so we chose to make a basic italian meringue. And (drums please), for the perfect finale: almond praline, because they both really like almonds.
Our parents always say, both of them, that their mothers (our grandmothers) used to make them birthday cakes. They would always be a vanilla cake with a strawberry jam filling and a simple meringue as the frosting. So this cake reminds them of those cakes, which is a nice thing.
We prefer, for this recipe, to make an italian meringue, instead of a simple meringue, because it is firmer and holds it shape. We also prefer to use dulce de leche as the filling instead of the strawberry jam as it gives the cake more stability. And for the final touch, we use mashed almond praline. So we have the softness of the cake and the sweetness of the dulce de leche combined with the fluffy texture of the meringue and the crunchiness of the praline.
The result is an spectacular cake, it is a cake with simple flavors, that tastes just great. Of course, you could change some ingredients and use other things instead. You can totally change the filling or the meringue for something you like better. But I am telling you, that if you follow our directions, you will end up with a good looking and DELICIOUS CAKE!!
Our parents loved the cake, and so did everybody else. I now have to admit it s now one of my favorite cake recipes.
- 1 C unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 C white sugar
- 5 eggs separated
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C all purpouse flour sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C buttermilk (check out our recipe: buttermilk)
- 1 can (13 oz) (370 gr) Dulce de leche
- 1 C white sugar
- 1/2 C water
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- The juice of 1/2 lime or 1/4 lemon
- Follow recipe: almond praline
Separate the eggs and pour whites into a clean bowl.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and then add vanilla extract.
Alternately incorporate cake flour and baking powder along with buttermilk, starting and finishing with flour.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, and incorporate them into the mixture.
Divide batter between two greased pans.
Bake at 380° F for about 40 min. Let cool in pans completely.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, combine egg whites with cream of tartar and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.
Follow our delicious recipe: almond praline
On the cake stand of your choice, place one of the cakes first, then using a piping bag put the dulce de leche on top of it, from the outside in.
On top of that place the second cake and let it sit for about 30 min. so that the resultant cake is overall firmer.
Carefully cover the whole cake with the italian meringue.
Break into pieces the almond praline and place a good amount of it on top of the cake.
Lastly, let the cake sit for a little while (we know is hard not to eat it right away) for it to be firmer.