4 ounces unsweetened chocolate,
1 cup water
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sweetened flaked
1 cup thinly sliced almonds,
(4 ounces) toasted
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate,
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups sliced almonds (8 ounces)
For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter
cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper.
Butter waxed paper.
Combine chocolate, 1 cup water and espresso powder in
saucepan. Stir over low
heat until chocolate melts and the mixture
smooth. Remove from heat. Cool completely,
Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl
light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addi-
tion. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and beat until blended.
Sift flour, baking soda,
baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately
with sour cream in
three additions, beginning and ending
with dry ingredients and beating
well after each addition. Divide batter
equally among prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester
inserted into center comes out clean, about 30
minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10
minutes. Using small knife,
cut around edges to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks.
waxed paper; cool completely.
For filling: Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium
pan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and
stirring until syrup turns deep amber, brushing down sides
of pan with wet pastry brush
and swirling occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Carefully add cream
(mixture will bubble vigorously).
Place pan over medium-low heat and stir until caramel
bits melt, about 5
minutes. Stir in the coconut and 1 cup almonds. Cool filling until thick
enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
For frosting: Melt butter and chocolate in heavy small saucepan
low heat, stirring until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in vanilla
Whisk in 1 cup confectioner's sugar and 1/4 cup sour cream.
Whisk in remaining
confectioner's sugar and sour cream.
Place one cake layer on platter. Spread half of filling evenly over top,
1/2-inch border. Top with second cake layer. Spread with the
remaining filling, leaving
1/2-inch border. Top with the remaining cake
layer. Spread frosting over sides and top of cake.
Press 2 cups sliced
almonds onto sides of cake. Using pastry spatula, swirl frosting on top
of cake decoratively. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake
dome and store at room temperature.)