From the Grocery Girl’s Test Kitchen: Sweet and Buttery Almond and Lemon Cake (with a Hint of Thyme)
A previous post that I wrote was about the art of perfecting a recipe in the test kitchen. As sweets were dwindling around our house, I decided to step into my test kitchen (A.K.A. The kitchen in our condo.) and throw a cake together.
Since I don’t bake a lot, I did a little research on recipes before I started measuring. I was pretty sure I wanted to make an almond cake, but knew we didn’t have any almond paste on hand. (Almond paste can be found in the baking aisle at your supermarket if the recipe you’re making calls for it.) We did have almond extract though and I found this recipe: http://www.italian-dessert-recipes.com/almond_cake_recipe.html online. I was intrigued by the idea of a delicious “one bowl” almond cake so I decided to give it a whirl. NOTE: If you make this cake I strongly recommend both buttering and flouring the spring-form pan. Also bake the cake on the center rack of the oven.
If you take a look at the recipe for the cake, you’ll see that it calls for topping the cake with slivered almonds and sugar. I opted for spreading homemade lemon buttercream frosting on top of it. (-Because we also didn’t have slivered almonds.) Buttercream frosting is one of my favorite treats. However in this case, the addition of buttercream frosting to the cake rendered a very rich and buttery desert. (I’m sure too rich and buttery for some people.) Just in case though, here’s the link for the buttercream frosting recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lemon-buttercream-frosting-from-the-famous-sprinkles-cupcakes-222187
In the future this is how I’m making the cake:
- 3/4 cup of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- the zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp. – 1 TBSP. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 TBSP. sugar (for the topping)
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds (for the topping)
The procedure for making the cake is very similar to that of the original recipe, but here it is anyway:
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in your microwave (in a microwave safe dish) on 50% power. (This will probably take a little over 1 minute to do.) Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar to it. Stir those two ingredients together. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir the eggs into the mixture until it’s creamy. Add all of the other ingredients to the mixture (except for the 1 TBSP. of sugar and sliced almonds for the topping). Grease (with butter) and flour the bottom and sides of a spring form or 9″ square pan. Add the batter to the pan. (It will seem thick.) Then scatter the sliced almonds on top of the batter. Sprinkle the 1 TBSP. of sugar on top of the almonds. Bake the cake on your oven’s center rack for 40 mins. or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a bakers rack for about an hour. Try serving the cake after eating Asian food for dinner. (As chocolate usually doesn’t go well with Asian food.) Alternatively, have it as part of an afternoon tea, or for a wedding or baby shower. It would also be good as part of a brunch meal.