This is the cake to turn to for the “wow” factor on your holiday dessert buffet. You can decorate it in any color you like -- match your room, your tablecloth, or your mood. I like to use apricot jam, but you can substitute any flavor you like.
- 12 to 16 ServingsServings
- Cooking spray plus 2 tablespoons flour for pan
- 6 large eggs, seperated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup apricot jam or preserves, divided
- 1 tub white fondant (2-pound tub)
- Gel or Liquid food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round baking pan. Place the pan on a piece of parchment and trace a circle around the pan. Cut out the circle and place it inside the pan; grease the parchment.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff and fluffy. Turn the speed to low, and add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the speed back up to high for 1minute. Add egg yolks and almond extract, and mix until almost all mixed in. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Use a silicone spatula to gently mix the batter well, making sure to mix in the batter on the bottom of the bowl.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Turn out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
To assemble the cake:
- Slice the cake in half horizontally into two layers. Set aside the bottom layer to use as the top of the cake. Place the top layer on a platter, top side down. Spread half the apricot jam to the edges. Top with the bottom layer, bottom side up. Reserving about a tablespoon, spread remaining jam all over the top and sides of the cake. That will serve to hold the fondant to the cake and add extra apricot flavor.
- Place a large piece of parchment on your counter and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. To cover the cake you will need about three-quarters of the tub of fondant. You can use white, or, if you prefer, knead in food coloring. Place fondant on the parchment and roll it into a circle about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Sprinkle more sugar on the fondant or parchment as necessary, so the fondant doesn’t stick. Lift up one side of the fondant and fold it over the rolling pin. Roll the rest of the circle loosely onto the rolling pin. Carefully unroll the fondant on top of the cake. Use your hands to smooth the top and sides of the fondant around the cake. Use a knife to trim off the bottom.
To decorate the cake:
- Knead food coloring into the fondant, roll it out and cut it into desired shapes using a knife or cookie cutters. The fondant can be any color you like -- aim for contrast. Get creative! Use remaining jam as “glue” to attach fondant decorations to the top and sides of the cake. Store at room temperature for up to three days, or freeze in plastic wrap for up to three months.