Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chez Panisse Almond Torte

 This recipe is just too good not to share and it's a beautiful cake.  I baked it for an hour and 20 minutes and it was so perfectly done on the inside, just moist enough.  Make sure to let it cool completely as it develops this intense crunch on the outside, a perfect companion to any almond cake.

1¼ cups sugar
⅞ cup (7 oz./200g) soft almond paste***
1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)
6 eggs
1 cup (4.5 oz/130g) flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
powdered sugar for dusting

*The recipe in Chez Panisse Desserts calls for 8oz of almond paste, but we have always just used one of those tubes that usually weighs 7oz. If you don’t have a scale and can’t find a 7-oz tube of almond paste, measure out the 7/8 cup, but don’t pack it too tightly.

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Beat the sugar with the almond paste until the almond paste is in fine pieces. Or, better, pulverize it in a food processor. Beat in the butter and the vanilla, then cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the whole eggs, one at a time — the eggs should be at room temperature — beating well after each addition so the eggs are thoroughly mixed in.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat in just until thoroughly blended.

3. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and turn the batter into it, smoothing the top evenly. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours (mine baked for 1¼ hours) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the center feels springy when you push it gently.

4. Let cool for about 20 minutes before releasing the sides of the springform pan.

For a little backstory, see here.

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