Friday, March 2, 2012

Almond Cake with Dried Fruit

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Here's another recipe that I'd made while back home. Figure I should post it now, or else it'll go to the never ending folder of recipes that I didn't post on time, and then it became too old to post. {Do any of you also do that, or is it just me? For some reason, I can't bring myself to post things I made too long ago} Anyway, I made this because we had some dried fruits at home that my Mom wanted me to use up, and she loves her simple, unadorned cakes anyway. It was actually she that found and picked the recipe for me. Slavery at its best :P

Anyway, since you probably know by now, I don't like simple plain desserts too much. I went about making this pretty unenthusiastically, even though the recipe is by someone I admire a lot, Jacques Pepin {who is also the Dean at my dream school. I figured it would be one of those cakes that my Mom and others would eat, and I would just taste. How wrong was I? I should have trusted one of my idols more. The cake was absolutely amazing. Proved to me that not all cakes need to be over the top indulgent to be sinful. The almond flavor in it made it super rich, yet light and simple. And the dried fruits gave a wonderful contrasting flavor + texture. I had dried strawberries, figs, cherries and pineapples on it, but I'm sure you could make do with much fewer kinds. We took it to my grandparents' house because they love getting such handmade gifts, and even they gobbled it down :) {they have the appetite of a bird, between the two of them!} I also think they'd look much prettier in individual servings, made in a muffin pan instead, so maybe some of you could try that and show me :)


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Almond Cake with Dried Fruit
Recipe from Jacques Pepin via the Wayward Oven

115g almond paste - I processed 115g of almonds in the food processor, which is about 1 cup
¾ cup sugar
1 stick [113g / 8 oz] unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
¼ cup milk
Dash of salt
1 cup cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

For the syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons whiskey, rum or cognac [optional]
2 tablespoons sugar

For the Garnish
1½ cups diced dried fruit (currants, peaches, apricots, pineapple)
¼ cup good apricot jam, diluted with 2 tablespoons water
8-10 mint leaves
1 cup Greek yoghurt for serving (optional)


Instructions - 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a 8 cm round pan.
  2. Put the almond paste, sugar, butter and vanilla in a food processor and process for about 10 seconds. Add the eggs, milk, and salt and process for 5 seconds. Add the flour and the baking powder and process for another 5 to 10 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack to room temp.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the syrup in a small bowl. Using a spoon or pastry brush, moisten the cake with the syrup. Scatter the dried fruit on top of the cake. Brush on the diluted apricot jam and garnish with the mint leaves. Serve with the Greek yoghurt.

10 comments:

  1. This cake looks and sounds like The ideal cake...full of almonds, fruit, and not too rich!
    I have a lot of recipes and photos in the "waiting room" too. :D

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    Replies
    1. Yup it can almost be called healthy! I can't believe it either.

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  2. Mmm, that looks really good, Avanika!

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  3. Oooh, the way you've described it makes me want a slice. I like almond cake!

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  6. This is totally unrelated but have you seen the YouTube video of Jacques Pepin making scrambled eggs? To this day, the hubster and I can't eat eggs without talking about cuuuurds. I feel like we have to make his fabulous cake now to pay proper homage to his genius :)

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