I've conjured up this cake many times before but I've never blogged about it or written down the recipe. Here it is! One of my favorite cake recipes. It's more special than just a regular pound cake, but more simple than a fancy cake with bells and whistles. It's secret is the ground almonds and the crème fraîche (though you can easily substitute the crème fraîche for heavy cream). This cake is my secret weapon when unexpected visitors show up and I still need to serve something; I always have the ingredients at home. Rating: 5+ out of 5.
Amazingly Almond Cake: based on this recipe.
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour (250 grams)
- ½ cup ground almonds
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar (335 grams)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 large eggs
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (165 grams)
- 7½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3¾ ounces; 110 grams)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (22.5 x 12.5 x 7.5-cm) loaf pan or Bundt pan, dust the interior with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two stacked regular baking sheets and set aside.
- Sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt together and keep close at hand. Toss the sugar and in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, beating until the mixture is pale and foamy, then whisk in the crème fraîche and almond extract. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently stir the sifted flour mixture into the batter in three or four additions—the batter should be thick and smooth. Finally, fold in the cooled melted butter in two or three additions.
- Immediately spoon the batter into the pan and slide the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 25 to 30 minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes for a Bundt pan), or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry and free of crumbs. (Check the cake at the 40-minute mark. If it is browning quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking period.) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack before turning it out of the pan; invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
Look at how smooth the inside looks :) Pure joy!