Saturday, August 1, 2015

Almond Cake

Almond Cake 




I believe there is a cake for every occasion and there is some cake in this world for each and every one.

Sometimes its a silky buttercream iced layered sponge cake, sometimes an old fashioned butter based cake with buttercream frosting and since we don't get heavy dairy cream in India at times making some homemade mascarpone substitute and using that as an icing is what a girl needs.





In our house the most beloved cakes are cakes sans icing. These cakes are butter based and a perfect accompaniment with that cup of delicately flavoured Darjeeling tea or a cup of robust  coffee.

I have always maintained that a classic cake like the Victorian Sponge Cake is one of the best tea cakes but then again so is the sour creamed cake or the fruit cake.

Anyway the first time I baked with ground almonds it was for the classic Dundee  Cake and it was simply delightful even though the quantity of almonds is very less. The next time I made a dacquoise I was hooked. I simply loved the nutty light flavour.



I came upon the blog The Ordinary Cook when randomly searching for recipes for almond cakes and I liked what I saw and made a small cake last year for a birthday and my aunt called me up later to tell me what a wonderful cake it was.

My parents do not like iced cakes. The problem is in my family we are 4 members at present at least 4 2 legged members and 3 members out of the 4 are above 55 years and not too fond of sweets. That said they love cakes sans icing and so this seemed like the perfect anniversary cake for my parents who completed 28 years of togetherness and have a mutual dislike for iced cakes.

This cake is nutty buttery light and an absolute keeper. I mostly stuck to the recipe but where The Ordinary Cook replaces one of her eggs with 150gm greek yogurt I used the egg and I separated the eggs which gives a lighter texture to cakes

Makes about a decent loaf of cake

Loaf tin used 9inch by 4 inch

What you need :-

250gm almonds
100gm all purpose flour flour which is sifted with 1 tsp baking powder
175gm caster sugar
175gm salted butter (In case you are using unsalted butter use a small pinch of salt) at room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Blanch the almonds peel them, toast them lightly making sure you don't brown them , cool the almonds and then leave aside 10 to 15 almonds and use a coffee grinder to grind the rest. Do not grind for too long else you end up with almond paste.

Preheat the oven at 160C. Prepare the loaf tin by greasing it and dusting it with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar together. In my experience a wooden spoon used for this is the best option.

Now separate the eggs and make sure your whites are in a container with absolutely no fat else the whites would not form soft peaks which we want to achieve

Add the yolks one by one and whisk well. Now use a separate whisk to whisk the egg whites after adding the lemon juice to soft peaks

Add a bit of flour, a bit of ground almonds and egg whites and fold well. The folding technique determines how light and fluffy your cake will be. Quickly add the flour, ground almonds and whisked egg whites and fold it well and spread the mixture evenly on the loaf tin . Tap it from all sides and bake placing the rack in the center of the preheated oven at 160C for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is evenly browned

Let the cake cool down in the pan for 5 minutes and then use a spatula to loosen it and cool is on a wore rack. Slice the almonds which you have kept aside and decorate the cake if you please.

Serve it with your favourite hot beverage or enjoy a slice of this nutty light buttery cake by itself.




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