Yes, hello. Hope everyone’s doing well in the calm between storms. I’m still not sure which one’s likely to do more damage–Sandy or the election–but hopefully the latter will go better than the former. Given, however, that I am neither meteorologist nor political pundit, we shall now return our discussion to cake. Thank goodness.
And this is quite a cake. Super simple and yet totally sublime, this moist, intensely almondy number comes from the Chez Panisse Desserts book by way of Francophile (well, MOST of the time) blogger, raconteur, and food guru David Lebovitz. So long as you’ve got a food processor, the batter is very much of the dump n’ buzz variety. Very easy.
And people, I cannot overstate how delicious this cake is. The almond flavor is rich and intense. The crumb is tight, bouncy, and so moist that it makes a crackly noise like a damp sponge when you poke it. It is just… toothsome, and inspires a desire that borders on the unseemly all on its own.
That said, for all its barefaced virtues, it’s also quite amenable to being tarted up a bit. Split and schmeared with a tiny bit of very tart jam and you’re in ur-tea time territory. A bit of bitter ganache and you’re dressed up for dinner. Some fruit compote and creme fraiche on the side and you’re rustically seasonal. Or, just all by itself, still blissful. Basically, there’s no excuse for you not to be making this right now. I’m sure you could find some occasion to celebrate. Monday, for example.
Some tips, though, before I send you on your way. DO use a 9″ springform pan. It’s just easier all around. DO be sure you buy almond paste and not marzipan. The latter has a higher proportion of sugar and is more pliable for making shapes and decorations. Here, you want the hi-test almond paste for flavor. Also, for whatever reason, the packages sold in the US are seven ounces, while the recipe requires eight. Not to worry, the cake will come out perfectly well with just seven ounces, which makes shopping a bit less painful.
Go here for the recipe.