Almonds have the unique distinction of making a cake both crisp and tender. It baffles me, yes, but there is is, each flake turns nutty and crisp, yet it retains its moistness inside. So, it may look like a dry sponge cake — but it bursts with nutty flavour and moistness. This golden almond cake almost dissolves in your mouth — it’s soft and moist, just like the way an almond cake should be.
The crust turns out beautifully golden and crisp, and that is why I guess Rose Levy Beranbaum named it so. This cake is from her book, The Cake Bible, and takes only a short while to make. I’ve used only 1/2 teaspoon almond extract instead of the suggested 1 teaspoon in the book as the extract I’m using is quite strong.
Although the amount of almond is lesser than the cake flour, it still works its magic and the result is an exquisite cake, perfect for tea time, or better still, coffee. If you ask me, serve it at a party or gathering since you can serve it with a host of accompaniments. I love pairing my almond cakes with fruit and chocolate, like oranges, peaches or sweet limes with this almond cake, and this time around was no different. I didn’t go with fruits though as I didn’t have the fruits Rose suggests in her book on hand, instead I sort of used a combination of two toppings that she mentions. Her suggestions? 1. A dusting of powdered sugar, 2. raspberries, 3. peaches, 4. chocolate, 5. sour cream ganache, 6. crème fraîche topped with fresh peaches or raspberries. And since I’m head over heels in love with sour cream ganache, I used that — I wasn’t left with much though since I used most of it to frost this smooth operator Cordon Rose Banana Cake. I dusted the border with sugar and slathered the sour cream ganache in the middle. It tastes great plain, the sugar only elevates that taste, and the sour cream ganache takes you higher still — almond chocolate nirvana!
As for using blanched or unblanched almonds, I leave the choice up to you. A lot of people find it difficult to digest almonds that are not blanched — do use blanched almonds in the case your tummy is weak. Instead of using the store-bought packs of blanched almond, I urge you to make a batch of your own at home — it’s easy and healthier. Whatever you do use, your golden almond cake will turn out just fine! Do let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below, or using the hashtag #notjustspice to tag me on Instagram or @notjustspice on Facebook or Twitter. Here are two more almonds cake that rock: The Exquisite Catálan Salt Pinch Cake, and one of my favourites, Almond Cake.
This golden almond cake almost dissolves in your mouth — it’s soft and moist, and bursting with nutty flavour, and more importantly it has a beautiful crust. It’s the perfect cake for when you are entertaining because you can serve it with fruit and chocolate — more dessert for everyone.
- 166 g (1 and 2/3 cups) sifted cake flour
- 35 g (1/3 cup) blanched or unblanched sliced almonds, toasted and finely ground (see notes below)
- 200 g (1 cup) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 170 g (12 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter
- 160 g (2/3 cup) sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk for half a minute.
Add the butter and sour cream and whisk on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, then whisk on medium speed and beat for a minute and a half to incorporate air.
Scrape down the sides and add the eggs one by one, beating for 20 seconds between each addition. Add the extracts with the last egg.
Scoop the batter into a prepared cake pan (refer notes below), and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after you remove the cake from the oven.
Let the golden almond cake cool, for 10 minutes before you unmould it. You could help it along by running a metal spatula around the cake — against the side of the pan.
Equipment: One 23-cm (9-inch) cake pan, greased, with parchment lining the bottom. Grease the parchment too, then dust the cake pan with flour.
Storage: The golden almond cake stays fresh for 2 days when stored in an airtight container, and up to 5 days when stored in the fridge.
If you have a problem digesting unblanched almonds, use blanched almonds — take a look at this post on how to blanch almonds. To toast the almonds, spread them on a baking sheet and bake the unblanched almonds for 7 minutes or until pale golden, and the blanched almonds for 2 minutes. Stir it about twice to prevent overbrowning, and ensure that it is all evenly toasted. When the almonds have cooled completely, add them to a food processor, along with the 1/2 a cup of sugar (from the 1 cup of sugar), and pulse them in bursts until you get a fine powder. Pulse in bursts to ensure that the food processor doesn’t get too hot, and look at the powder now and then to ensure it doesn’t become pasty.
How To Blanch Almonds (not just spice)
The Exquisite Catálan Salt Pinch Cake (not just spice)
Almond Cake (not just spice)
Sweet Lime (Wikipedia)
How To Make Crème Fraîche (not just spice)
Cordon Rose Banana Cake (not just spice)
How To Make Sour Cream (not just spice)
Indulgent Sour Cream Ganache (not just spice)