Plain and Simple Almond Cake
25 Aug '18 — unexpected tastiness
At first I said it was too sugary…
As I thought about how much sugar to reduce for next time, I started slicing slivers off. Just a couple at first, then half slices.
“How could this cake, which has just three basic ingredients, have so much flavor and be so good? Good enough to keep you cutting off slices and eating them out of hand. Good enough to make you want to whip up another one before the cake’s gone.”
I thought she was exaggerating.
Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan is a cookbook full of Parisian recipes wrangled from locals. These are real recipes that people actually make–not made up recipes to fill a cookbook for publishing. She even names people she gets the recipes from.
It’s a great book for me since I’m on a mission to have more desserts. The flavors are less familiar than American desserts and the recipes are simple using traditional ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs).
After reading several recipes, I decided on the plain and simple almond cake.
delicious to the last crumb
5 large eggs separated at room temperature
200 grams of sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of find sea salt
200 grams of almond flour
I began by preparing my 9 inch cake pan. I cut a round parchment for the bottom and buttered the paper and the sides.
After separating the yolks and the whites, I added sugar to the yolks and beat them together. You’re suppose to add all but 2 tablespoons of sugar. At first, it was a rich dark yellow but slowly it became a lighter yellow. That’s how it’s suppose to look before whisking in vanilla.
Then I took a mixer and beat the egg whites with salt on medium until I got soft peaks.
Following, I added a quarter of the whites to the yolk mixture and mixed thoroughly. Then I poured all the whites on the yolk mixture along with a third of the almond flour and folded gently.
I asked my husband to turn on the oven for me at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t know why recipes always tell you to heat up the oven so early–isn’t it wasteful?
At this stage, I’m suppose to be gentle, folding the rest of the almond flour and egg white into the yolk/sugar. But I wasn’t sure how gently because the mixture is suppose to turn out homogenous. The almond flour is dry and the egg whites are so foamy. I was scared to mix too much.
I continued to fold. It become homogenous but I was skeptical whether the mixture would rise.
I poured the batter into the pan and shook it a little to even out the batter.
My oven was pre-heated and I put it in for 20 minutes then rotated the pan and baked for another 13. The cake rose double in size within the first 20 minutes.
The recipe says to bake for 33-38 minutes but mine looked quite golden at 33 minutes so I took it out.
I left the cake to cool 5 minutes in pan and then took a knife to the sides and flipped it to get it out. After that, I peeled the parchment and placed it on the rack to cool. Not for long though–I just had to have a warm slice.
I forgot to add the remaining sugar to the egg whites. It was sweet enough without it.
I would try making the cake with 2⁄3 of the sugar and see how well that goes. Although the idea of ‘almond cake’ doesn’t sound delicious (it reminds me of dry almond cookies I used to have as a child), it was super moist and one of the tastiest cakes I’ve had.
Gluten free appetit!