Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Lemony Almond Cake with Blackberry Cream
A few months ago while taking a children's rights class, I realized that I was twenty-five years old and had never seen my birth certificate. I decided that it probably wasn't good that my parents didn't have a copy and I didn't have a copy and that no one seemed to have a copy. So I ordered one online. As I waited for it to arrive, I considered the possibility that I wasn't blood related to my parents, mainly because I look nothing like either of them. But alas, my birth certificate arrived, and there in typewriter black letters was the proof that my parents are, in fact, my parents. Damn. ...just kidding! Love you, mom and dad.
Anyway, I went home to hang with my parents this past weekend. Maybe it's the sentimentality present in everything there. Or maybe it's the large patio, the multitude of trees, and the vaulted ceiling of my bedroom. Or maybe it's just being near my parents again. But as much as I absolutely love my new home in Atlanta, being back at home felt rather calming, despite everything that was going on.
My dad is one of those awesome people who stores half eaten fruit pies with untidy fork edges in the oven with a quick-bite utensil. I'm not saying I take after my dad, but I'm sort of saying that. Pie is just freakin' good. Cake, also good. I'm not typically a huuuge cake person. But this cake. This cake is for real, good stuff. Crispy top. Moist almond cake. Soft lemon curd sporadically throughout. This cake is forkfuls of divine.
I added a little blackberry cream, because, well, I love sauce. But you so don't have to. A little dollop dollop whipped cream action would also be delightful. Or just cake and a quick-bite utensil. This cake is totally deserving of that. As you wish, friends.
Lemony Almond Cake
3/4 cup meyer lemon juice (1/2 cup regular lemon)
3 egg yolks (2 if using regular lemon)
1/3 cup sugar (1/2 cup if using regular lemon)
6 Tbsp. butter, cubed
In medium saucepan, whisk juice, eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt. Place pan over low heat and add butter. Heat, whisking constantly, until butter has melted. Increase heat slightly (to about medium-low) and continue whisking until mixture thickens to a jelly-like consistency.
Remove from heat immediately and press through a fine mesh strainer set over a heatproof bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes then store in the refrigerator.
adapted from Fresh
2/3 cup sliced almonds
75 g (1.5 cup less 1 Tbsp.) almond flour
125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
8 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2/3 prepared lemon curd (recipe above)
Turn oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread almond flour flat and evenly on sheet. Place under broiler until it begins to smell toasty and nutty, about two minutes. Watch closely, as it can burn easily. Remove from oven and set aside.
Turn oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9” cake round with parchment paper and heavily butter the sides. (Or alternatively, use a 9" spring form and skip the parchment.) Press about 1/3 cup of the almond slices against the sides. They won’t all stick, but that’s ok.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add extracts and beat until mixed in. With mixture on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until they begin to be incorporated. Before the mixture comes together, add the eggs and mix on low until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth down with a spatula. Dollop lemon curd on top of the batter, leaving a 1/2 inch of batter around the edge. (Any curd that gets on the edge of the pan may burn while baking.) Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sliced almonds over top and dust generously with powdered sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, lift the cake out by the parchment paper (or remove sides of spring form) and dust lightly with powdered sugar. The cake is best when eaten within two days.
12 oz. fresh blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
3 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Puree blackberries and sugar until smooth. Press through a strainer and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk cream, milk, and vanilla bean and pod until bubbly around the edges. In a small bowl, whisk yolks and sugar until combined. While still whisking, gradually pour about 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk in. Remove vanilla bean pod from the saucepan, and whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture. Heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Transfer to heatproof bowl and let cool slightly.
Stir in the blackberry puree until combined. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.