almond cake

29 Mar

So excited to finally bake this cake.  I’ve been planning to make almond cake since winter break but didn’t have enough time.  After studying Mourad Lahlou’s and David Lebovitz’s recipe, I only found two slight differences in their recipes: Lahlou uses more flour and Lebovitz uses more baking powder.  But they are pretty much the exact same recipe with the same amount of butter, eggs, and sugar.  Technique wise, Lahlou foundues the butter, which I highly recommend, in order to make a lighter batter.  Just whisk  the butter over low heat until it is thick and creamy.  I use the same approach when I make my date and walnut bars and it definitely makes a difference.  I basically doubled Lahlou’s recipe to make a 9 inch round layer cake.

Almond Cake
Adapted from Mourad Lahlou’s New Moroccan

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, fondued
7 ounces almond paste
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven at 275 degrees.  Grease 9 x 2.5 inch round cake pan.  Line the bottom with a parchment paper and grease the bottom again.

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, set aside.

Beat the almond paste with a mixer until it is soft and until it has broken into little pieces.  Add the sugar and mix to combine.  Gradually add the butter and mix until light and fluffy about two minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.  Add the extracts and continue mixing until light and fluffy another two minutes.  Fold in the flour.  Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the pan.  Tap the pan to get rid of air bubbles.  Spread batter evenly with a spatula.  Lahlou says to bake the cake for about an hour.  Mine were done after 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Keep checking after an hour.

Notes:

  1. Baking tips: use the middle rack of the oven, turn the pan halfway through the baking time, ingredients such as eggs and butter should be in room temperature unless indicated otherwise.  You need cold butter when making pie crusts.
  2. I find that most readily available cake pans are too shallow.  I highly recommend investing in this taller layer pan.  No spill, no batter overflow.
  3. I noticed the Lahlou’s oven temperatures are always lower than normal when it comes to baking resulting in longer cooking time.  However, I find that they are always perfectly baked, no burnt edges, perfect golden brown color, etc.  Still trying to find some sort of scientific explanation why, will let you know once I find out.

Lahlou’s book calls for a plum sorbet, cardamom infused yogurt, and toasted almonds to be served with the cake.  It’s not really plum season yet and I still have to invest on an ice cream maker so that will have to wait until next time.  I also didn’t quite get it together to make cardamom infused yogurt.  The cake can be served as is, with fresh or macerated berries, or even a raspberry coulis with honeyed whipped cream as shown above.  This cake is amazing!  Moist and full of almond flavor.  I’ll definitely make this cake again with the cardamom yogurt.  But everyone loved it plain.  Yes, I love anything almond flavored.

3 Responses to “almond cake”

  1. claire February 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Number of eggs in the recipe?

    • Fritzie February 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

      Six large eggs at room temperature. Sorry about that!

      • Carol Klein February 23, 2013 at 1:07 am #

        Thank you.

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