1 3/4 cups Amaretto or Frangelico or Grand Marnier (rum and brandy while not really liqueurs, also work well)
1/3 cup almonds, toasted (for Amaretto cake)
2 tablespoons orange zest, grated (for Grand Marnier Cake)
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (for Frangelico cake)
While cake is baking, prepare syrup by combining sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Stir mixture over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer.
o Continue to heat (WITHOUT FURTHER STIRRING or your finished product will have sugar crystals!) until mixture comes to a full boil.
o Cover (also important to avoid those nasty sugar crystals) and continue to boil until all sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear, about a minute.
o Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
o Stir in liqueur.
o After removing cakes from the oven, allow them to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn cakes out, then immediately return cakes to pans in preparation for adding syrup.
o Use a thin wooden skewer to poke numerous holes into the cake, about 1 inch apart. The holes should go all the way from the top to the bottom of the cake. Pour 1/4 syrup mixture over each cake and, if desired, sprinkle with optional toppings.
o Let cool until the cakes have absorbed the syrup.