almond cake recipe, that is.
know that almond cake is my favorite cake. And you may know that we had one for
our wedding cake. You may also know that I tried and tried to perfect the
recipe... and was eventually happy with the results.
along came my friend Heather with a request for me to make her
cake, one that she gets in Pasadena from The Kitchen.
TheKitchen for Exploring Foods is a wonderful shop in Old Pasadena where one can purchase an entire
meal - or simply a sinful morsel - to take away. Or one can call them to cater a
been fortunate to have tasted many a dish from this wonderful "foodtique," the brainchild
of Peggy Dark, whom I was honored to meet on this visit.
my last visit, Heather and I popped in to visit Peggy, and to pick up some
goodies to sustain us: a late lunch for Heather (some beautifully poached
salmon and a Mediterranean salad), and some cookies... and almond cake for us
|I used the cooling rack to make a diamond-shaped pattern on the cake.|
but one piece of almond cake left, and we playfully whined to Peggy that we
were bereft at the idea of sharing among four people. "If only I had the
recipe." I sighed, hopeful that it was somehow available.
handed me a copy of Fabulous Parties
, a cooking and entertaining book she
co-wrote with Mark Held and Richard David. "You could buy this - the
recipe is inside." My prayers were answered.
chatted while Peggy, Heather and I oohed-and-ahed over the goodies that beckoned
all around us. Peggy asked, "Have you tried my butterscotch pudding?"
We both shook our heads, then asked the young man at the counter to add a few
to our growing tally.
waved her hand and said insistently, "No, no, no. These are my last three
- just take them!" It really helps to be there with a faithful customer
bought me a copy of the book, which Peggy graciously autographed for me. While
Heather is one of the most generous people I know, I know she had an ulterior
I now had
the recipe for her favorite almond cake. I could make it for her anytime.
recipe is based on the one by Peggy Dark. I made a few changes, not because
hers wasn't already perfect, but because I use what is available (almond paste
comes in a 7-ounce package) and I made a couple mistakes that worked well.
almond paste (not marzipan)
tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
grated zest of 1 organic lemon
tablespoons Grand Marnier
teaspoon baking powder
the oven to 350°F.
butter a 9-inch cake pan, and line the bottom with a round of parchment. Butter
the parchment and then lightly flour the sides of the pan and buttered
parchment. Set aside.
almond paste into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and sugar and beat
until well blended.
one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add lemon zest and Grand Marnier,
and mix to blend.
small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, and add it to the
almond mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture. Pour into
the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
for 10 minutes on a rack before removing the cake from the pan. Invert cake
onto a cookie sheet, remove parchment, then invert again onto a cooling rack. When completely
cool, top with berries and a dusting of confectioners sugar.
Labels: almond cake, Almond paste, butter, grand marnier, lemon zest, peggy dark