I've been on a cake-kick and my inspiration is coming, not from one of the dozen or so new cookbooks that have arrived on my doorstep (I'm no longer on a cookbook diet, what's the point of self-inflicted pain and suffering?!?) but from Pinterest - that black-hole-time-waster that sucks me in for hours every evening. I feel like I need a 12-step program...Hi, my name is Nan and I'm a Pinhead. To rectify the guilt I feel for wasting so much time, I've decided that weekly I will actually make the things I pin...well, not all of them, I would need to live as long as Methuselah to do that and at the rate I'm consuming calories I don't see that happening - at some point I will explode!
If I had a 12-step Pinterest sponsor, I'm sure they would be proud of me - let me give you an example...last week I saw a quilt on Pinterest, pinned it, thought about it, went to the website, ordered the pattern, joyously opened it when it arrived on Monday, cut my fabric on Tuesday and here it is a week later from the actual pinning and five of the thirty blocks have been sewn together! That's Pinterest Progress right thar! (Monkey see, monkey do!)
Back to the cake - I saw, I pinned, I made, I ate. (The first four steps needed to pull oneself from the depths of Pinterest hell.) This cake is absolutely delicious. Did you read that right? It is delicious. Delicious I tell you, delicious!
When I saw the pretty picture of this cake on Pinterest, I clicked on the website, which I always do to see if the person who made it is a baker/cook and not someone who bakes once every ten years. I went to the Shugary Sweet website, and read the recipe for Swedish Almond Cake, which sounded very similar to a recipe I have for Italian Almond Cake - and except for the size of the almonds and how they are used, it was almost identical. Two recipes for one cake - it was like God was sending me a message! This cake is simple to make, simple in presentation - no frosting, no fanfare - maybe a dusting of powdered sugar - and you've got yourself a cake that kind of sneaks up on your taste buds with subtle hints of lemon and vanilla and a nice crunch from slivered almonds. It has a very dense crumb so it tastes substantial - it's the perfect antidote for the 3:00 blahs or a great way to start or end the day...one little slice is the answer to all of your questions.
Making little cakes is so much fun - and they are so cute! I have several older friends that I like to take goodies to and a big cake would just be a waste as they live alone, so little cakes are perfect...plus, if I eat the entire thing, because you know, it's so small, then I don't feel like I have to flog myself! For this cake I used two 6-inch round cake pans but you could easily make one 9-inch cake.
Italian Almond Cake - Pots and Pins and Shugary Sweets
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking pans (whatever size you are using, either two 6-inch pans or one 9-inch) by greasing sides and bottom. Line bottom of pan(s) with a piece of parchment and then grease the parchment. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine sugar with lemon zest and eggs, beating until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add in almond extract. With mixer on low speed, add in salt, baking powder and flour and beat on low until just combined. Add in melted butter and almonds, mix until combined on low. Do not over mix. Batter will be thick, spoon into baking pan(s) and smooth tops with back of spoon. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Top of cake should be golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes in pan(s) before turning out onto a rack to cool. Best served at room temperature. Keep any leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic, will keep for 4 days. One 6-inch cake serves 4. One 9-inch cake serves 6 to 8.
One year ago - How To Build a Leprechaun Trap
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Four years ago - Valentine Quilt - or Not!
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Six years ago - Caveman Ham and Cheese Sandwich