Tag Archives: cake

Flourless Almond Cake

almond cakes

Flourless Almond Cake

The almond is native to modern-day Syria, Israel, and Turkey, though it was spread to parts of Europe and North Africa in antiquity. Romans referred to almonds as “Greek nuts” and showered newlyweds with them as a fertility charm.

This is the perfect Passover cake.

¾ cup sugar
2 cups slivered almonds
pinch ground cardamom
4 eggs
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 stick butter, at room temperature
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted (or get these from Trader Joe’s – they’re amazing)

Butter a round 9 to 10 inch spring-form pan, and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the almonds, sugar and generous pinch cardamom into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the eggs to the mixture followed by the almond extract. Drop in the butter and process until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the mold. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cake is done when the top if golden brown, feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Unmold the cake, invert onto a platter and remove the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto another platter to have the top of the cake right side up.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey with the lemon juice. Set over medium heat and simmer for a couple minutes, until it has the consistency of a glaze.

Spread the honey on the outer circumference of the cake – about 1 to 2 inches – using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the glazed area with the toasted sliced almonds and serve.

Serves 12 to 15

This cake is adapted from Patti Jinich’s Flourless Almond and Porto Cake

Lemon Cake with Macerated Strawberries

lemon cake

Lemon Cake with Macerated Strawberries

A light and summery cake prepared in a recent kids class after seeing so many lemons in 17th century Dutch paintings.

Lemons were very rare and expensive in Holland during their Golden Age and artists saw the subject as an opportunity to show of their skills. 

For the cake:
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
zest of 2 lemons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil

For the macerated strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Grease and flour a 10-inch cake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile prepare the strawberries. Stir together the strawberries and sugar in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until juices are released, at least 30 minutes.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmold, slice and serve with a spoonful of macerated strawberries.

Makes one 10-inch cake

Apricot Galette

apricot galette

Apricot Galette

Similar to the Italian crostata, a galette is a free-formed tart normally prepared with seasonal fruit.

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

1 whisked egg, for egg wash

For the filling:
3 cups sliced peaches, apricots or plums
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

Prepare the dough: Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a food processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend and add to the flour and butter mixture. Pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 ½ to 2 hours. This can be prepared 2 days in advance.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Roll out dough on floured surface to 12 to 14-inch round. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Gently toss the sliced fruit with lemon juice, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mound in center of the crust and spread out, leaving 2-inch border. Fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush border with egg wash, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Serves 8 to 10

Matcha Green Tea Cake with Chocolate Chips

matcha cake

Matcha Green Tea Cake with Chocolate Chips

First used in China, green tea was brought to Japan in the 12th century by Myoan Eisai, a Buddhist priest. By the 13th century, samurai warriors had adopted Zen Buddhism and began preparing and drinking this powdered green tea, called matcha, laying the foundations of the Japanese tea ceremony. Baking was a cooking technique introduced by Portuguese missionaries in the 15th century.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons powdered green tea (matcha)
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and matcha and set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before turning out of the pans. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Serves 12