Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ready For The Fair

The most recent treat James said was "the best thing" I ever baked was this embarrassingly  simple almond cake.
"You should enter that in the fair," he said.
Well tomorrow I will, along with a collection of homemade jams and jellies and a dense, sweet persimmon bread made from our home grown fruit.
But, back to this cake. Adapted from a  recipe by former Chez Panisse baker David Liebowitz, it's one of the easiest recipes I know. It's what I make when I am not in the mood to do a lot but still want dessert for guests. It's super moist and a great make ahead cake. It keeps for days. In short, it's the ultimate casual dinner party finish.
First combine 3/4 cup of almond paste (not marzipan but almond paste) with 1 1/3 cups of sugar in a standing mixer. The sugar helps break the almond paste up in small bits. Add 10 TB of room temperature butter and beat until light and fluffy. Next drizzle in 6 lightly beaten eggs and a tsp of vanilla extract. Then stir in 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt (lightly whisk dry ingredients together before adding to the batter).
That's it. Simple.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9" cake pan and bake for 1 hour at 325┬║.
Depending on what I've made for dinner sometimes I serve this super moist cake with creamy full fat yogurt (we love St Benoit Creamery yogurt made in near-by Sonoma county) and a  drizzle of honey, other nights it's topped with fresh blueberry or plum compote.
It's always a winner.
Fingers crossed for the fair.

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