Posts tagged almond
New Orleans King Cake-American Cake
It is a very pretty cake. Very much delightful for breakfast. 

This is cake 3 from American Cake. It's a yeasted cake rolled around cinnamon, sugar and butter. There's a surprising half teaspoon of nutmeg in the dough, the icing has almond extract. These two flavors set it apart from a giant circular cinnamon roll. The outside texture of the cake does too in that it's dryer than you'd expect. Having baked yeasted pastry plenty of times, I anticipated to be directed to brush the roll with beaten egg or melted butter before baking. Having double checked the book that step wasn't called for.

She's a pretty little beast for sure. However, so far MBW Gingerbread aka Cake 2 has been  the stand out winner of the first 3 cakes.

Cake Recipe
.25 cup warm water
1 packet or 2.25 teaspoons yeast
.25 cup warm whole milk
.5 cup butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
.5 teaspoon nutmeg
.5 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 large eggs

filling:
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

icing:
1.5 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
.25 teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl combine water with yeast. Let foam. Add milk, sugar, nutmeg, salt and stir until the granules are few. Add milk and 1 cup of flour. Mix. Add the 2 eggs and blend it into the dough. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour.

Turn out on to counter and need for 5 minutes. Rest in a lightly greased bowl. When doubled knock out the air and roll it the dough 26x12 inches. Combine the sugar and cinnamon together. Brush with butter and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Starting on the long 26 inch side of the rectangle roll evenly. Transfer to a parchment covered sheet and form into a circle. You can cut it into slices like I did, but leaving it whole seems more typical. Also, I lost some filling through the slits. So I won't do that again.

Allow it rise 1 hour or until it looks soft enough. Bake 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then cover with icing. If you want to be even more current spring the icing with purple, green and gold icing sugar and throw some beads on it and shove a toy baby or whole nut inside.
Nice Spirals!
Gateau Basque
In an attempt to expand my horizons I've been looking at classic cake recipes trying to figure which are within my abilities. I came across the Gateau Basque and thought it seemed just the ticket. 

It's rather a cookie dough (ish) with almond flour cake filled with cooked pastry cream and cherries. Or just cherries or just pastry cream. I'm a sucker for pastry cream. I don't have a favorite recipe for one, so I do as I generally find them written but this one I had to improvise upon because I was short on corn starch. You have the recipe I actually made below. Lesson learned:check your pantry before starting a recipe! 

Here's the big momma cake, the diamond pattern in the crust is a thing.
The filling to crust ratio is perfect, if you like pastry cream, which I do! 

I want to say this recipe is not my typical in that you make more dough than what you need for the recipe. It's sloppy to do things that way but alas I didn't have it in me to go looking for too many variations on a theme. Nor did I want to break the recipe down into thirds, because I'm lazy. You use 2/3 of the dough and make cookies with the other third. 

DOUGH
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon oil
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
1 cup almond flour

FILLING
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cherry liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brandied cherries, drained, optional
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk, for brushing

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl. In a different bowl cream sugar and butter. Once creamed add eggs and oils. Mix 3 or 4 minutes. To the eggs add the flour mixture and almond flour. Blend thoroughly. Divide into 3 1 pound packets. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. 

In a sauce pan bring the milk to a simmer. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the flour and cornstarch. Blend well. Add half of the hot milk to the egg mixture, quickly mix it together. Add the remaining milk. Pour back into the sauce pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously switching between a whisk and a spatula, to scrape the bottom. Cook 8-10 minutes until it is thick and no longer tastes like raw flour. Add the liqueur and vanilla. Pour into a large bowl, butter a parchment paper and press that onto the filling so a skin doesn't form. Cool on the counter 30 minutes. 

 Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray. 

Roll the first disc about 12 inches. Place it in the pan, into the corners of the pan. Trim the dough so it about 1.5 inches up the side of the pan. (A tart pan might be easier for this cake, but we're not in for easy, are we?) Pour the filling into the pan, spread it flat. Sprinkle the cherries over the filling if you're using them. Using a knife tip push the edge of the bottom dough toward the center of the pan, so when you put the top on you can shove it down the sides of the pan, to seal in the filling. 

Roll the top slightly bigger than 9 inches, transfer it to the top of the cake, over the filling. Be gentle this is a very tender dough. Score in a diamond pattern, brush with egg wash and bake 50-60 minutes, until golden brown. 

Make cookies with the remaining dough, or maybe a little tart shell or something like that. 
Golden Almond Lemon Cake

Golden Almond Lemon Cake

How has April come and nearly gone without a post? So much for my once weekly commitment. 

April isn't over yet and I'm shooting for four posts before it's all said and done, so there! It's about striving towards a goal, is it not? 

I went surfing the web to find a recipe that fits the personality of Shelly for whom I made this cake. As always, if you work with me I make you a cake on your birthday. Easy are the people who put in specific requests. Cheesecake? Sure! Carrot Cake? No problem. But the vague, "surprise me" is fun and crazy making. 

I'm not beyond experimenting on a person's birthday cake. Other less adventurous people might feel the need to try a cake out before serving it to others. I have no such compunction. We all can be surprised together. I mean it's cake, how bad can it really be? 

So why this cake in particular? Mz. Shelly is both sunny like a lemon and a little nutty, like the almonds. She's also way more complex than you might imagine just at first glance. This cake looks regular but it has lemons and lemon oil, toasted almonds, sour cream, tons of butter and turbinado sugar. Sweet jesus, that is the whole she-bang. 

The photo above is yet another Bundt cake, in the same pretty swirly pan, but this one is fancier than what meets the eye. I found it on Pastry Joe, (where has he been all my life?) it's his take on Rose Levy Beranbaum's cake (she I have known about for 20 years.) Her Cake Bible is on my bookshelf and I go back to it all the time. Hey Julie/Julia fans, someone should recreate that book and blog about it. Maybe that's so like 2005?

I'd detail out the recipe, but there's a link and Joe covered it pretty well. Oh and I haven't tasted yet. There might be a post script about this whole thing.