Monday, July 20, 2009

Moist, Seductive Almond Cake: Dessert You Deserve....

Hey, it's always good to take a little breather between the main course and dessert--even if it is a few days since we tried the Spicy Thai Tofu! Today I wanted to share a recipe for a dessert that always gets rave reviews from kids and adults alike (including M. Christian and Sage Vivant when they popped over for a fondue dinner last winter), plus it's so easy to make and very forgiving if you forget it in the oven for an extra minute or two. Cakes can be very finicky, which is why I imagine cake mixes are so popular, although who wants all of that processed crap in the name of a moist texture that lasts for days? This almond tea cake is naturally moist thanks to the almond paste, and in fact is reminiscent of good marzipan. It even impressed a French friend, a veteran restaurant manager, who explicitly praised the moistness, in a charming accent, naturally. As we erotica writers know, moist is good, so next time you want to treat yourself to a simple, elegant and delicious treat, try this. You deserve it. Oh, and it goes well with fresh summer fruit, too!

The recipe calls for optional dried fruit, but since I have kids they vetoed that and I've never tried it. Also, I use a high quality almond paste I order from King Arthur Flour (which also sells an Italian-style flour that makes exquisite pizza crust and a great Tahitian vanilla). But I have made it with the brand available in my supermarket and it doesn't suffer much.

Almond Tea Cake

(8 servings)

3/4 cup (7-8 oz on a scale) Love ‘n’ Bake almond paste (other brands are okay)
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla (Tahitian preferred)
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried apricots, optional
powdered sugar as garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whirl almond paste in a food processor with 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.

In a mixing bowl cream butter with the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffy.

Add almond paste and beat until well mixed.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Scrape the bowl, then fold in the baking powder and flour
Fold in the dry fruit, if using

Spread the batter in a greased 8” cake pan lined with a round of parchment or waxed paper on the bottom.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (My slow oven takes about 42 minutes).

Cool on a rack about five minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge, turn over onto a rack, remove from pan and cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar to serve.

Sit back and enjoy the compliments!


Craig Sorensen said...

Moist is always good, and that looks absolutely delicious!

Danielle said...

moist is the word i love the most when its in the same sentence with the word cake!!!!:-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

I can always tell when a chef has used King Arthur flour, because the resulting dish talks like Richard Burton.

SusanD said...

Oooh, this sounds good, Donna. I'm a gonna try it for sure.

neve black said...

This sounds wonderful. And just so you know, I love the word, moist. Mo-ist. connotates sumptuous flavor and I want to lick my fingers. Yum!

Then I scrolled down and read Jeremy's comment and I can't stop giggling.

Thank you, Donna. :-)

Erobintica said...

oh, this sounds sooooo yummy!

Donna said...

Wish I could have you all over for a taste. It is pretty yummy--great texture and flavor and one piece really satisfies. Perfect on its own or it could be a very upscale basis for a berry shortcake. (I have no financial interest in the almond paste company, btw).

And now I understand why King Arthur Flour is so exceptional, Jeremy!

Emerald said...

Wow, I don't even like almond flavor, but that picture looks delectable! And your talk of vanilla made me hungry once again (not sure if your food talk has ever not made me hungry) for something sweet and delightful. ;)

Danielle said...

@ emerald

i totally love the taste of vanilla too

i while ago i made a sald with shrimps, green asperagus and, here comes the twist, vanilla-oil...awsomely delicious

and i really have to try donnas almond cake..because i totally love almond taste..:-)

Donna said...

Well, Emerald, I've just made a batch of my vanilla spoon cookies, so maybe those will be a good substitute? My son requested them for his birthday and they need to age a few days to be at peak flavor. I use Tahitian vanilla for those, too.

Danielle, vanilla oil on shrimp sounds incredibly seductive. Wow. Did you make the oil or can you buy this? There's a vanilla sale at King Arthur's now. Might have to go replenish the stock!

Danielle said...

@ donna

whats the word whats the word???..just spoke with shanna about this recipe the other day...

i made the oil myself by scratching out that black vanilla stuff out of a vanilla bean?..i put it into the oil for two days so the oil absorbed the whole vanilla taste and et voila..vanilla oil..if you guys really want me to i ll make the salad again in a days and post recipe and pictures...:-)

maybe all of us food people should put together a cook book..:-)

Donna said...

Oh, Danielle, please do make the salad and post food porn photos--I really want you to!

Now, what kind of oil do you use for this--a neutral canola type? I usually use olive oil, but this seems like it needs a bland base.

We should do a cookbook. Certainly a collection of the two blog food parties and then anything else anyone wants to add in. Sounds like a great project! Intersperse it with erotica?

Danielle said... wish and you should/will porn in the making..:-)

yes its a bland base you need for this oil:-)..which is rare in my house since i usually use olive oil all the time..well..not when i cook in the wok but for salads i almost always use olive oil..well..i f i dont youse grape seed just noticed that i use all kinds of

yay an erotic recipes and little sexy stories about the incredients or events where lust, sex and taste/food came together..?...i m sure everyone would add something awsome and fitting..:-)

spam word is gangedb..GANG-edb..thats a sign!!!

Erobintica said...

I am going to go out and get some vanilla beans and a good oil and make some of this - wow Danielle - thanks!

My mind is just buzzing with stuff to make using vanilla oil. I'm wondering if it would work with walnut oil (though I have trouble finding that anymore - for awhile Trader Joe's had it). OH! Make it with all different oils! Vanilla olive, vanilla grapeseed, vanilla almond, vanilla......

And an erotic cookbook does sound delectable.

Danielle said...

@ robin i love your ..uhm*..i wish i had a word for it but my sad& poor english dont spits out what i want..i love that you have the spirit for " i get up and get me some oils and try it right now"..thats a wonderful thing and totally makes me smile:-)

i ll post that recipe during the next days and hope you will love it!!

i also have another recipe similar "exotic" i ll soon wanna share..

and , donna..the erotic cookbook..i totally love the idea ..a sexy food baby..hehe*