Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Flourless Almond Cake (Gluten and Dairy Free)
Passover always inspires me to try new flourless cake recipes. This year I wanted to make something classic, simple, and light for seder. This recipe comes from Claudia Roden, the acclaimed author of multiple Jewish cookbooks (among other accomplishments).
I served this almond cake with a mix of berries that had been macerated in a little Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and honey. I also served it with whipped coconut cream. The mild creamy coconut goes really well with the subtle almond flavor in the cake... but don't get me wrong, this cake is good all on its own.
The cake is crispy and delicate on the outside, and kind of gooey and crumbly on the inside. It makes a really wonderful crackly sound when you cut into it. As it bakes, the top puffs up and as it cools it sinks back down into the cake. The recipes is very similar to how one makes a flourless chocolate cake.
If you do not like the combination of almond and citrus I would omit the zest from this recipe. I think you could also get away with adding other flavorings to the batter (maybe coconut extract, actual coconut, or even cocoa powder/chocolate).
The recipe for this cake comes from Spain, and it is perfect for any meal that requires a dessert without flour, dairy, or too much work.
Flourless Almond Cake
Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Claudia Roden's
1/2 lb. blanched almonds (or 1 3/4 cups), finely ground
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract (or less depending on your preference)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Finely grind the blanched almonds in a food processor. Don't grind them too fine or they will start to form a paste.
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper (11-inch works too). Grease the pan really well (I used non-dairy Earth Balance... you could also use margarine, butter, or even coconut oil to grease the pan).
With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until a smooth pale yellow cream is formed.
Add the zests and almond extract and beat some the mixture until everything is well-incorporated.
Mix in the ground almonds.
Using a stand-mixer, electric mixer, or whisk, and using a very clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (like you would for classic meringue).
Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk and almond mixture.
Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is firm (no jiggle), and golden brown. Let the cake fully cool in the pan.
Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar if desired.
The cake actually tastes even better the next day and can be made 1-2 days in advance.