This month’s What’s Baking theme was Chow Ciao Italiano, chosen by Nicole from Seven Ate Nine. We do a lot of Italian baking around here, but instead of sharing something that is a favorite, I wanted to make something that was different from our usual rotation. And I’d had this cake bookmarked forever and needed an excuse to make it.
I love the Italian rainbow cookies. Whenever we get cookies from the local Italian bakery, they’re my first choice – and the first I grab off of cookie platters. The idea of those cookies in a cake was just too exciting to pass up. Much to my delight, this was pretty spot-on. It was delicious and had all the flavors of my beloved cookies. It also looks gorgeous – perfect for a special occasion.
To see what everyone else made for Chow Ciao Italiano, check out Nicole’s blog later this month!
Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake
(from Always Order Dessert)
Makes 1 9″ cake
3 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
12 oz. almond paste, grated with a box grater
1 T. pure almond extract
1 c. milk
3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
3 t. baking powder
Red, green and yellow food coloring
1/4 c. seedless raspberry jam
1/4 c. apricot preserves
For the ganache:
1 c. heavy cream
12 oz. semisweet chocolate
Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the grated almond paste, almond extract and milk, and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the almond paste batter and mix until combined. Separate the mixture evenly into three bowls and dye each bowl a different shade (one green, one yellow, one red). Pour each into individual pans, making sure to smooth out the top.
Bakefor approximately 20-25 minutes or until a knife 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.
To assemble the cake, start with the pink layer of the cake on the bottom and spread the raspberry jam over the top until it nearly reaches the edges of the cake. Top with the yellow cake and spread the top of the yellow cake 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.