Almond Cake

This recipe is from a baking book I love – William-Sonoma “Essentials of baking”. Made some changes as I didn’t like the taste of the store-bought almond paste/extract etc.  This is a very tasty, soft cake that most people will love. 🙂

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup cake flour (I buy Pillsbury Softasilk Enriched Cake Flour Bleached. Available at grocery stores baking section)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

For Mixture:
1 cup raw almond with skin (Soak this in warm water for at least 2 hours. Sometimes I just soak it overnight and that is ok.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8oz) unsalted butter. (Keep it at room temperature for an hour or more so that it softens)
6 large eggs, at room temperature.
1 tsp vanilla extract

For decoration (Optional):
1-2 tsp Confectioners sugar for dusting at the end.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter and flour a 11-inch bundt pan, and Set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt on a plate/foil, and Set aside.

Slip/Peel almond skin. If it is hard to peel, soak some more time in warm water. Grind almond to make a paste. I add a little bit of milk(2% or whole milk), to make it easier to grind. We need a thick paste. So, be careful while adding milk.

For mixing ingredients, you can use a food processor, a standing mixer or a hand-held mixer. These days I use the kitchen-aid stand mixer and love it.

Add almond paste, sugar and butter to the mixer bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and creamy (abt 5 mts). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. The mixture will look curdled. Add vanilla and beat for some more time.

Add one-half of the dry ingredients to the bowl with mixture and using a rubber spatula, fold in gently until all the flour is mixed in and no lumps are seen.
Add the remaining dry ingredients and very gently fold it in until the batter is smooth and no lumps are seen. You can also turn the bowl while folding to make the movement slow and gentle. The cake will be tough if you fold the mixture too fast.

Spread the batter in the buttered/floured bundt pan.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40-45 mts.
Watch the cake closely towards the end so that it won’t overbake.

Let the cake cool for 10 mts on a wire rack or something where the bottom is exposed for cooling evenly. Place a plate above the pan, and invert them together. Tap gently on the top and slowly lift off the pan. If you buttered, floured the pan, and cooled the cake properly, the cake should come off easily from the pan to the plate. Let the cake cool completely on the plate.

Once the cake cools, put the confectioner’s sugar on a strainer/sieve (I use the Indian tea strainer), and dust on top of the cake. This is just for decoration and is optional.

After enjoying it, leftover can be stored covered outside for up to 3 days, and in the fridge after that for many more days.

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