Makes: 16 servings at 46¢ each. Prep: 13/4 hours. Refrigerate: about 7 hours. Rise: 2 hours. Bake: at 400° for 15 minutes.
Set aside 1 tablespoon flour. Place remaining flour, yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom in food processor. Add milk, egg and 1 tablespoon butter. Pulse with on/off motion until dry ingredients are moistened. Then process until dough holds together in a ball and cleans sides of work bowl. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Gently turn dough over; re-cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
Thaw and drain raspberries in strainer over small saucepan. Lightly press berries to release juice. Cook juice to reduce to 1 tablespoon. Puree berries in processor. Strain to remove seeds. Stir sugar, juice and almonds into puree (or substitute seedless raspberry jam). Reserve.
For pastry, sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on sheet of plastic wrap; place the remaining 17 tablespoons butter on top. Cover with plastic wrap. Pound butter lightly with rolling pin to flatten and soften; knead together using plastic wrap and knuckles to avoid touching butter directly; if wrap tears, replace with new piece of wrap. As soon as flour is incorporated, shape into 5-inch square (no thicker than 3/4 inch). Butter should be cool, not too soft.
Roll dough out to 8-inch square. Place butter in plastic wrap diagonally in center of dough square; lightly score outline of butter onto dough. Remove butter. With rolling pin, roll out each marked corner of dough into a flap, 4 to 5 inches long; dough will be slightly elastic. Lightly moisten flaps with water. Unwrap butter; place on dough. Fold flaps over butter, stretching to wrap butter; seal tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place dough package, seam side up, on well-floured surface. Lightly flour dough; gently roll dough package into 16 x 7-inch rectangle. Brush off flour. Starting with short end, fold into thirds as you would a letter. This is the first turn. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 20 to 40 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding 2 more times, keeping closed end to your left. Do not forget to let dough rest 20 to 40 minutes between each turn (you may freeze dough at this point). Once finished with layering, refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make wreath, let dough stand at room temperature 15 minutes. On floured surface, roll dough into 14-inch square. Roll up onto rolling pin; unroll and fit onto 14-inch round pizza pan; trim excess dough and reserve. Refrigerate dough circle 30 minutes.
Using the dull side of a knife, mark a 9-inch circle on dough. Mark 6-inch circle in center.
For filling, melt together semisweet chocolate and butter in dish in microwave oven or in top of double boiler. Let cool to room temperature. Spread chocolate over 1-1/2-inch strip on dough that separates the 2 circles. Place in freezer for 15 minutes to set chocolate. Top chocolate with raspberry filling. With a knife, cut 1-inch-wide strips into outermost ring of pastry. Divide center circle into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Fold strips over filling, alternating 2 to 3 outside strips for every inner strip, placing inner strip on top; seal edges of dough together with a little water. Roll trimmed scraps into bow for wreath. Attach to ring with a little water.
Brush wreath and bow with egg-water mixture. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. (You may freeze wreath at this stage). Cover wreath with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise in warm place for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 400°F. Place baking pan with about 1 inch of boiling water on bottom rack of oven. Bake risen wreath in the top third of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden. To glaze, whisk confectioner's sugar and water in bowl. Brush over hot wreath. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.