An easy almond cake for spring and summer
This mouthwatering almond cake recipe comes to us from Carla Snyder, author of One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two and blogger at ravenouskitchen.com. Obviously, we couldn’t resist featuring this strawberry cake recipe for its impressive lineup of aphrodisiac ingredients, (not just almonds but honey and strawberries). But Carla really upped the ante on sensual cakes with this one. Read on.
The use of almonds in baking
Almond is one of the more common nuts used in baking. They’re considered more versatile than most of the nuts and play a starring role in baking because of their natural sweetness.
According to What’s Cooking America, the history of almonds in baking traces all the way to ancient Egypt. And although we think of almonds as an ingredient of the Mediterranean, we believe that the almond tree actually originated in China and central Asia. So, as you might expect, almonds also appear in Chinese sweets.
We should also mention that almonds are among the world’s best loved aphrodisiacs and even played a featuring role in Amy Reiley’s aphrodisiac cookbook, Fork Me, Spoon Me. Almonds also make our list of the 10 Best Foods for Men’s Sexual Health.
Why you’re going to love almond cake
In fact, she promises to make this cake your new best friend. Why?
We’ll let Carla explain: “There are many reasons to become better acquainted with almond cake. First off, unlike your favorite cashmere scarf he’s as deliciously adaptable in the heat of summer as in the throes of winter. I’ve paired him up with winter strawberries doctored up with balsamic and honey but any juicy fruit would do. He gets along with all your fruity friends.”
And just to drive it home, she adds, “Almond Cake will seduce with his bedroom eyes and smooth Barry White baritone and say “Oh, baby, baby” at the very first bite making it almost impossible to stop at just one rich slice. Like many of our besties he can be a bit of a bad influence at times.” Seriously? You need to get baking!
This Almond Cake is a taste of spring. You won't believe how balsamic will accentuate the flavor peak-of-ripeness strawberries. And you'll love how their sweet tang balances with the cake's slightly earthy, mellow flavor.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 8-oz can almond paste broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened, 1 stick
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 6.
- Butter a 9-inch/23 cm-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
- Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit and butter and flour the paper.
- Pulse the sugar and almond paste together in a food processor until they are finely blended. Toss in butter, zest and vanilla and pulse again until smooth.
- Turn on the processor and add the eggs one at a time.
- Remove the lid and add the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse a few more times just until blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
While the cake is baking, combine the strawberries, honey and balsamic. Set aside until ready to serve. (You can store this mixture, covered, in the refrigerator.)
- Cool the pan on a rack for about 30 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife, invert it onto a serving plate and peel off the parchment.
To serve, top each slice of cake with a scoop of berries and their juices. Dust with powdered sugar, (optional).
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