Saturday, October 29, 2011

Easy Almond Cake

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. It’s the first recipe I made from that book, and I it’s one of my favourite cake recipes. It’s somewhat unusual in that the batter is made in a food processor, but that just makes it easier. The cake is dense, moist and keeps well. It’s also quite adaptable: Nigella suggests serving it with raspberries, apples or rhubarb, or using orange zest in place of the vanilla. It looks beautiful when dusted with powdered sugar, too. I adapted the quantities slightly to make this a North American version of the recipe and to include the type of marzipan that is most often found here (i.e., Odense in a vacuum-sealed tube). For the oven temperature, I chose 350 °F (instead of the exact conversion 338 °F), but I could have gone to 325 °F and baked the cake a tad longer, too. I decide to serve the cake with my leftover raspberry coulis, but it’s great on its own, too.

1 cup butter or margarine
198 g (one package) of marzipan, at room temperature
¾ cup fine sugar (if yours is coarser, give it a whirl by itself in the food processor first)
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp vanilla
6 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9-inch springform tube pan or patterned ring mould (I always use my Bundt pan for this).

Chop the butter and marzipan to make them easier to break down, and put them in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the double-bladed knife, with the sugar. Process until combined and pretty well smooth. Add almond extract and vanilla, process again, then break the eggs one at a time through the funnel, processing again each time.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Tip the flour mixture down the funnel, processing yet again, and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, but check from 35. When the cake looks golden and cooked and a cake-tester comes out cleanish, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before turning out. (If ever the top of the cake sticks a bit to the mould, dust it with powdered sugar and it will hardly show).

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