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Almond Cake

Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

Serves 10-12

  • an 8 inch by 2-inch round cake pan
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 6 Tbs. sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (4 oz.) unblanched or blanched whole almonds
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract (note: I prefer vanilla, TP)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 Tbs. (4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into several chunks and slightly softened
  • 1 Tbs. kirsch (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (1.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter the pan using the tablespoon butter, softened. Scatter the sliced almonds over the bottom of the pan, and press some of the m about 1 inch up the sides. Distribute extra nuts over the bottom. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Place the whole almonds, sugar, salt and almond extract in the bowl of the food processor, and process until the nuts are finely pulverized. Add the eggs, butter and kirsch, if using, and pulse to blend thoroughly. Add the flour and baking powder, and pulse until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick plunged into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. To unmold, slide a slim knife carefully around the inside of the pan, pressing against the pan to release the cake without cracking the crust. Cover the pan with a plate, and invert both. Remove the pan and leave the cake crust side up to serve.

For the best flavor and texture, make this a day ahead. Serve it by itself, or dress it up as you like with a berry sauce or some fruit.