Almond Cake with Crunchy Crust

My partner and I absolutely love almonds. I recently came upon this recipe (thank you Pinterest) that promised to deliver a cake both moist inside, and with a delicious crunchy layer on top. The result was amazing.



CARAMELIZED CRUST
10 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 grams sliced almonds (I used about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons white sugar

BATTER
115 grams almond meal (ground almond)
150 grams white sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used a bit more because I didn't have any Amaretto)
3 large eggs
115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon Amaretto (optional)
45 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C.
Generously butter bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch cake pan.
Spread sliced almonds evenly over bottom and sides (1 inch high) and sprinkle with sugar.
Set aside.
In a a mixing bowl, mix together almond meal, sugar, salt and almond extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add softened butter, Amaretto and mix well with a hand whip. Finally, add flour and baking powder, mixing just enough to incorporate.
Pour batter carefully into the prepared pan (make sure the sliced almonds don't get scraped off the bottom) and level top with a spatula.



Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the surface of the cake gets a beautiful golden-caramel color and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (I baked mine for 25 minutes because I used a 9x9 inch square pan).
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently slide a butter knife around the edges of the cake pan and unmold on the serving plate.
Serve with homemade whipped cream. (I served mine with a homemade cherry coulis). 


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