Variations of this recipe has been around for awhile. Simple ingredients, lovely cake and a crunchy topping made with almonds, butter, sugar and cream.
In Italian, the word for almond is Mandorla and it connects into the mystical traditions of the Vesica Pisces, the shape that forms in the middle of two interconnected circles. You will find the design on the well cover of Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England symbolizing the coming together of heaven and earth or spirit and matter.
There are other aspects to the mandorla. One is the healing that can come from living in the place where opposites can co-exist, where you do not fight the shadow aspects of yourself, normally pushed away. A place that is not either/or but an embraceable both.
All things worthy of your consideration while sharing this almond treat with trusted friends.
You will need:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla, almond, rum or orange extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup jam (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease either an 8 x 8 baking dish or a 7 x 11 baking dish.
Find your center by closing your eyes for a moment while taking a deep breath in. The key to deep breathing is in the exhale. The more air you expel, the more air you can take in the next time. Bring your attention to the task at hand, release what keeps your mind elsewhere, invite the compassionate spirits to join you and begin.
Mix the whipping cream, eggs and your choice of extract together with a hand mixer.
In a bowl, place the sifted flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and slowly add the mixed liquids while the hand mixer is on low. Once all the liquid has been added beat until all ingredients are mixed and no lumps remain.
This is a very simple recipe. Combine liquids in one bowl, dry ingredients in a second and then mix together. Voila!
Transfer the batter to the 7 x 10 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Or transfer the batter to the 8 x 8 pan and bake for 20 minutes. The batter will be higher in the square pan and will need longer for the heat to get to the middle of the cake.
While the cake is baking, place the butter in a pot and melt over medium heat, add sugar, flour and cream and bring to a full boil while stirring. Reduce heat and continue to allow to bubble and thicken.
Pour over almonds and toss until covered. I used natural almonds as I prefer the added colour of the skins. Choosing blanched flaked almonds is the other option.
Here’s the reason I gave several options for the extract. I used an apricot/pineapple jam I made in February after some spring cleaning in the freezer. You might prefer to use an orange marmalade or strawberry jam. Each choice could affect the flavour choice of the extract as well.
At 15 minutes your 7 x 11 cake should be firm enough to add the topping but not be browned. The square cake will need a little longer. In either case be gentle as the batter in the middle is not fully firm.
Return the pan to the oven and bake another 15 to 25 minutes. The liquid will have thickened and disappeared and the cake will be bubbling on top with caramelized edges when done.
You can see what happened to the square cake, the almonds were too heavy for the unbaked batter. That said there was not one mention of it once the pieces were served. In fact the pieces with the extra almonds were in high demand.
Cut in pieces and serve as a cake when the batter is a little higher or as a slice when in the larger pan which will make the depth of the cake less.
Simple, delicious and easy to adjust. This is the same basic recipe I tweaked for Salted Turtle Sundae Cake at Valentines.
This is the plain version I left at home for family to enjoy. ( I was told not to bother with dinner when I got back)…..
…. and this is the jam added version that I took along still warm from the oven to tea on a wet and dreary March afternoon. Below is a pecan orange version with 2 tsp. of orange peel added to the batter and chopped pecan substituted for the almonds. Enjoy!
Whipping Cream Cake with Almonds and Apricots from My Kitchen Wand