Easy Almond Cake
This cake recipe is a real gem. I absolutely love it. It has only five ingredients, comes together in a snap and doesn’t include chemical leavening, so it doesn’t require major adjustments for high altitudes like ours.The cake itself is elegant and tender, with a lovely, fine crumb and a distinct almond flavor. It is wonderfully versatile: Slice it horizontally and make a layer cake, bake it in a square pan and cut it into small cubes like petit fours. Glaze it, frost it or dust it with powdered sugar and serve it with fruit. The cake can be matched with any taste that complements almonds. So, if you decide to glaze or ice it, you have lots of choices: Bittersweet, semisweet, or milk chocolate, white chocolate, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry all work well. The one pictured in this column is paired with a white chocolate glaze and decorated with toasted, sliced almonds. Easy Almond Cake(Make in an 8 or 81/2 inch springform pan, an 8 inch cake pan with 2 inch sides, or an 8 inch square pan)
IngredientsAlmond Cake8 ounces (one scant cup) of almond paste at room temperature-Use the almond paste that comes in a can, not in a tube. Dillon’s City Market carries it; the Frisco Safeway does not.1/4 cup of granulated sugar3 large eggs, at room temperature. Place them in a bowl of warm water if you need to bring them to room temperature quickly.1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sifted cake flour White Chocolate Glaze (optional)7 ounces of good white chocolate, chopped very finely or pulverized in a food processor1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease and flour the pan or spray it with Baker’s Joy. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease or spray it as well.Pull the almond paste apart as you put it in your mixing bowl. Beat the paste with an electric mixer on low speed, just until it is broken up. Increase mixer speed and add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, beating until it is all incorporated and the dough starts smoothing out. Add the room-temperature eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one into the dough before adding the next one. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Take your time with this, if the mixture isn’t quite soft and increased in volume, the cake won’t be tender.Turn the mixer speed back to low and slowly add the flour. Mix until it is thoroughly combined and the dough is smooth.Spread the dough evenly in the baking pan and bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched. The amount of time this takes depends on your oven and the size and shape of the pan you are using. Start checking at about 25 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Remove the parchment paper lining. Once cool, I invert it if I am going to glaze or frost it, though you can do so with either side as the top.Make the optional white chocolate glaze: Place the finely chopped white chocolate in a small pan or bowl. Combine the corn syrup and heavy cream in another small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the boiling cream mixture over the white chocolate and stir gently until it is entirely smooth. If there are still lumps, strain the mixture.
When the glaze has cooled to the point that it holds a mound when you drop some from a spoon but is still spreadable, pour it over the cooled cake and use an off-set spatula to smooth the top. Either let it fall irregularly over the sides of the cake or smooth it over the sides with your spatula. Decorate with the almond slices and let it rest until the glaze is set. The cake can remain at room temperature if you plan to serve it the day you make it. It can be covered and refrigerated for a day or two. Let it warm slightly before serving the cake after refrigeration.The cake recipe is a variation of one in Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker. If your business or organization would like to sample and review a baked good for inclusion in this column, please contact Vera Dawson at email@example.com
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