This whole cake is boozified! I'd wanted to make a cake from scratch with almond paste, but not having any I decided to improvise this time. I'll revisit this with a different cake recipe at some point, even though the amended boxed version turned out exceedingly well.
Amaretto Cake with Kirsch Cherries and Whipped Cream
I used a special pan which was perfect for this cake but which is by no means mandatory. It's called a tiara cake pan and was manufactured by Ekco for Duncan Hines many moons ago. You can often find them in charity shops in the states, which is where I got mine - for 99 cents! It's a handy specialty pan to have at times.
As you can see, it has an indentation which you can fill with stuff - ideal for this recipe. But if you just have regular cake pans, you can make something just as beautiful and delicious.
1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons amaretto, divided
(almost) 1 cup almond milk
Put cake mix, eggs, and applesauce in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. I grind my almonds to a powder in a little Krups coffee grinder - you want them very fine. Add this to the bowl. In a measuring cup, put the almond extract and 2 tablespoons of amaretto. Add almond milk until you have one cup, then add this to the bowl as well. Mix according to box directions. Fill whatever pan(s) you're using and bake and cool according to box directions (in using the tiara pan I had mix left over, so I made a smaller regular cake which I froze for use at a later time!) When cooled, put on the serving plate, brush with another couple of tablespoons of amaretto, and stick in the fridge.
1 cup chunky cherry preserves
1 tablespoon kirsch
Mix together in a small bowl; keep in fridge until use.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch
Whip ingredients in a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer until peaks form.
Assembly: Smear the jam on top. Smear the whipped cream on top of that. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Add pitted cherries if you like!