Almond cake

I have always loved almonds and enjoy them in almost every possible way they are prepared, from fresh-roasted to Amaretto. I particularly like almond cake and would be thrilled to find it on the dessert menu of a good restaurant now and then. But, I never could make one at home that I really liked, so I gave up long ago. But, my interest was again piqued by a recipe I saw recently in a magazine, so I did some experimenting and came up with something that I really like. I hope you will, too.

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So, what makes a great almond cake? The flavor of almonds, of course, must be paramount, but not overwhelming. Sweet but not too sweet. The texture will not be dense and chewy, but neither will it be light and fluffy–you need just the right balance! Here’s how I do it.

2 c blanched, sliced or slivered almonds (see note)
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1-1/2 c granulated sugar
zest of 2 large or 3 small lemons
1 tsp almond extract
6 TB unsalted butter
1/4 c vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees with rack in the middle.

Put the almonds in a non-stick saute pan that will hold them in a thin layer. Cook over medium heat, shaking frequently, until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Put 1-1/c of the almonds and the other dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Remove to a bowl. Put the eggs, 1-1/4 c of the sugar, about three-quarters of the zest, and the extract in the processor and let it run for a minute or more, until fully combined and pale yellow. Melt the butter, combine with the oil, and add to the processor while it is running until all is mixed well. Add the almond/flour mixture and pulse to combine.

Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Scrape the batter into the pan and level the top.

Combine the remaining 1/2 c almonds, 1/4 c sugar, and zest in a small bowl and mix with your fingers until combined. Sprinkle over the top of the cake, not quite to the edge. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan half a turn, then bake or another 25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center–if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Place pan on wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate, remove pan and parchment paper, and re-invert back onto the wire rack. Serve when cool.

Note: In my experience, blanched almonds are never labeled “blanched” but you can identify them because the skin is off (the skin is bitter and you do not want it in the cake). I usually find them in the baking section of the market.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Baking, Desserts, Uncategorized

One Comment on “Almond cake”

  1. The Editor Says:

    Reblogged this on Recipe Reblog.


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