Almonds are the most nutritious of all the nuts yet I don’t seem to use them much in baking, and due to having some leftover from making Julia’s beautiful chocolate almond cake recently I spent a few hours hunting for a recipe. This is the one I decided on and I must say it was simple but again I would suggest baking it in a smaller round tin because the cake does not have much rise. It still turned out lovely and has a really interesting texture and of course the delicious almond flavor.
Ingredients (makes one 8″ cake)
110g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and leave to soften
150g caster sugar (I cut down to 120g)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
90g ground almonds (almond powder)
40g self-raising flour**
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon flaked almonds for sprinkling
some icing sugar for dusting
** if you do not have self-raising flour, substitute with:
40g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven at 180degC. Grease (with butter) and flour the sides of a 20cm pan, line the base with parchment paper, set aside.
- Place butter, sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, add almond powder, flour, milk, vanilla extract (optional) then beat with an electric mixer or whisk. When quite light and fluffy, spoon into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top.
- Bake at 180degC for 30-35mins, or until the sponge just springs back when pressed (mine took 40mins), or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Important Note: Cover the top with foil about 15-20mins into baking to prevent the top from over browning.)
- Run a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.