I love to cook. When I wrote Under the Almond Trees, it was important to me that the family had a special almond recipe. I used almond cake throughout the novel even though I had never even tasted it! This summer I vowed to remedy this lack and bake an almond cake. I found several vintage recipes, but decided to try a modern one. It was absolutely delicious. Here is the recipe:
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole almonds
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and slightly softened
- 1 tablespoon almond liqueur
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides of a round 8″ cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Put the almonds, sugar, salt, and almond extract in the food processor and process until
the nuts are finely pulverized. Add the butter and liqueur and pulse until blended. Add the eggs and process until thoroughly blended. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse just until incorporated, scraping the bowl once with a rubber spatula to be sure.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
To unmold, slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the sides of the cake to release it. Cover the cake with a serving platter and invert. Remove the pan, peel off the parchment liner, and turn the cake right side up. Wrapped airtight, the cake keeps well at room temperature for several days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving.
If desired, dust the cake lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
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