Thursday, March 17, 2011
Flour-less Almond Cake
I've been thinking lately about changing the name of my blog. I sort of jumped on my current name because I just wanted to get the ball rolling and now I'm wishing I had given it more thought.
In other news I've been on spring break this week and I've spent most of it in the kitchen. The first day that I got here mom hinted that we needed to clean out the pantry, a few hours and two filled trash bags latter our pantry was still a lot more cluttered than I wanted it to be, so I decided that my cooking for the week would focus on ingredients from the pantry.
This almond cake was one of those recipes. We had three half empty bags of almonds. This recipe quickly took care of that problem because it uses ground almonds instead of flour. This cake has great almond flavor and a nice light texture thanks to the whipped egg whites.
That's one of the other great things about this recipe it helped me break my bad egg white streak. I have had the worst luck making meringue. I could never get the nice stiff peaks that I was supposed to. Sadly I have decided that my problem was my kitchen aid. Four egg whites doesn't take up very much space in a big old kitchen aid work bowl, so only the tip of the whisk is really in the whites. Instead of using my Kitchenaid this time I used a hand mixer and a 2 quart glass bowl and it worked PERFECTLY. I couldn't have hoped for better. I'm glad that streak is over. So any way here's the cake recipe.
Flour-less Almond Cake
3 cups Almonds (I used slivered but you can use whatever kind you like)
1-¼ cup Sugar, Divided
12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
4 whole Large Egg Yolks
4 teaspoons Grated Lemon Zest
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
4 whole Large Egg Whites
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9in. spring form pan.
place the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of fine cornmeal. Add the butter and pulse until it begins to come together in a ball. Set aside.
In a stand mixer beat 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and the yolks on medium-high until very light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Add in the almond mixture and almond extract.
in a very clean bowl, I suggest washing it just before you use it, whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy then slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until the whites form soft peaks. Stir a spatula-ful into the almond mixture to lighten. Carefully fold in the remainder of the whites until completely incorporated. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan.