Have you ever had the experience of remembering the flavor of something, but having no recollection of when or where you ate it? I have had the flavor of this dense, but mellow almond cake stuck in my brain for years, but have no idea where it came from. Occasionally I’ll see a recipe in a cookbook that I think should taste like the cake in my mind, but I’ve never found that recipe that matches what my brain thinks it should taste like…until now.  The cake is just lovely. It smells like almond paste (in a good way) and has that perfect mild almond flavor. The cake is sweet, but not too sweet and the crunchy topping is so satisfying (also prime for stealing little candied slices of almond when no one is looking…).

This recipe comes from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, the same book from which the recent Walnut Zucchini Olive Oil Cake hails. The book calls this the Italian Crumbly Cake, but mine came out moist and dense more than crumbly. As this is what I wanted, I think it’s perfect, and renamed it Almond Cake, because that’s what I’ve been calling that concoction in my head for the last several years. I’m pretty psyched that the almond cake mystery has been solved.

 

ingredients

1 1/4 C Flour*
1/4 C Almond Flour
1 1/2 C Blanched, sliced almonds
1 cup + 3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Large Egg
4 Egg Yolks
1 Egg White
1/2 C Butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder

* the original recipe actually calls for “00″ flour, which is an Italian flour. “00″ has something to do with how finely ground the flour is, or something like that. I couldn’t find any in the stores and used all purpose flour in its stead. I ended up with a delightful cake at the end of the day, so I think the substitution worked out fine.

 

prepped pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prep a springform pan with butter and flour.

 

dry ingredients presift

Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon and baking powder.

 

eggs

Take 4 of the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Reserve one of the egg whites for the topping.

 

wet ingredients

Combine 1 whole egg and the 4 egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium for approximately 3 minutes or until thick and pale.  Add the vanilla and beat again.

 

batter in bowl

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat well.

Pour in the cooled (but still liquid) butter and beat again on medium for about 30 seconds, or until smooth and combined.

 

 

batter in pan

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then turn to the topping.

 

almonds

Whisk the reserved egg white until foamy and then pour 1/2 of the egg white into a bowl with the blanched almond slices. Stir the almonds to coat and then add the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar. Stir to coat again with the sugar.

 

prebake

Sprinkle the almonds over the batter. The entire surface of the cake should be coated with delicious sugary almonds.

 

cooling

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and springy to the touch.  I was having trouble getting the top of mine to brown properly, even after cooking it a good 10 minutes beyond the recommended baking time, so I stuck it under the broiler briefly and everything browned right on up!

When you take the cake out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the springform pan. Let the cake then cool on the base of the pan and a cooking rack. I ran an offset spatula between the cake and the base to release it before transferring the cake to a platter.

 

 

Almond Cake
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 1¼ C Flour
  • ¼ C Almond Flour
  • 1½ C Blanched, sliced almonds
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Egg White
  • ½ C Butter
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prep a springform pan with butter and flour.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. Take 4 of the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Reserve one of the egg whites for the topping.
  4. Combine 1 whole egg and the 4 egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium for approximately 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Add the vanilla and beat again.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat well.
  6. Pour in the cooled (but still liquid) butter and beat again on medium for about 30 seconds, or until smooth and combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then turn to the topping.
  8. Whisk the reserved egg white until foamy and then pour ½ of the egg white into a bowl with the blanched almond slices. Stir the almonds to coat and then add the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar. Stir to coat again with the sugar.
  9. Sprinkle the almonds over the batter. The entire surface of the cake should be coated with delicious sugary almonds.
  10. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and springy to the touch. If you have trouble getting the top of mine to brown properly, stick it under the broiler briefly.
  11. When you take the cake out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the springform pan. Let the cake then cool on the base of the pan and a cooking rack. You may also want to run an offset spatula between the cake and the base to release it before transferring the cake to a platter.