Everyone loves chocolate but this is probably my most asked for cake — for dessert try it with grilled fruit, berries, a little whipped cream, cinnamon or coffee ice cream, or try it any time of day with a cup of coffee or tea.


Almond Cake

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Time: 90 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/3 cups sugar
  • 8 or 9 ounces almond paste
  • 3/4, plus 1/4 cup flour (1 C. total)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature (you can warm these in luke warm water, just be careful not to cook them)

Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Grease and flour a 9  inch cake pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper
    2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste (broken into chunks), and 1/4 cup of flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand
    3. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt
    4. In the food processor, add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy
    5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition.  Scrape down the sides if needed
    6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated (do not mix more than necessary)
    7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 60-65 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and it springs back when you press in the center
    8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a  knife around the edge while its still warm. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Once cool, remove the cake, carefully removing the parchment paper while its upside down, then plate.


Notes:  

  • Deciding when to take this out of the oven seems the trickiest part — too soon and it falls, too late and the outside or the bottom burns.  Watch it closely near the end; it should easily spring back on touch (not leave finger prints), but if you smell anything close to “burnt toast” take it out right away.
  • If you do burn it slightly, all is not lost – when the cake is completely cooled, use a bread knife to slice off the burnt edges; the rest is probably perfect.
  • My recipe calls for 8 or 9 oz of almond paste (available at many grocery stores in the baking aisle); I say 9 oz because the brand I buy is 9oz so I put the whole package in. Once I tried a different brand that was 10 oz. and it was too moist so I recommend sticking to 8 or 9 oz. of almond paste.
  • I’ve never made this with whole almonds that you process, nor have I tried it with a food processor but I’m sure those options are possible. Let me know if you try it!

almond-cake-by-madi-side-view

Some pictures from steps along the way:

Credits

Many thanks to David Lebovitz formerly of Chez Panisse for this recipe. Check out the original almond cake recipe for some beautiful pictures and his tips and his take on how versatile this cake is.

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