This cake was a real adventure to make because I also decided to make the almond paste - from scratch - which goes into the frangipane. Now, full disclosure, I have never been a fan of almond flavored baked goods...plain almonds? Great! Chocolate covered almonds? Yum! But marzipan? No thanks! But last year I got my first inkling that maybe, just maybe, it's actually almond extract flavoring that I don't like and/or I had just been served some really bad marzipan as a child. My perhaps-almonds-are-not-so-bad revelation happened in one of my CSCA baking classes last winter when we made a pear-frangipane tart and, while the pear was mushy and flavorless, the frangipane was amazing. Ditto in another class when we made croissants and (to my utter shock and disbelief) the almond croissants were my favorite! I was still not totally convinced though, to the point that when I made a Swedish Pear and Almond Cream Cake for the HCB ring last June, I omitted the almond cream. I know now that was a big mistake.
I decided that for this cake I was going to go all in - including the almond paste - no substitutions allowed. The ABC's fearless leader, Hanaâ, recommended a great almond paste recipe from imafoodblog.com. And not only was the almond paste very easy to make, it was so incredibly yummy that I ate the leftover 2 ounces on its own over the next couple of days! It was so rich and delicious that a small pinch felt like a big treat.
Another great example that only good things can come from being adventurous in the kitchen.
|mise en place for the almond paste|
|and, voila, homemade almond paste...so delicious!|
|additional ingredients for the frangipane|
|my frangipane, ready to go|
|mise en place for the chocolate cake|
|butter and sugar, creamed for 4-5 minutes|
|the finished batter|
|laying down the second layer of the frangipane|
|and...topped with the rest of the batter|
|done! It smelled divine.|
|I love this bundt pan...makes the prettiest crusty-edges|
|here's my frangipane "ripple"|
|looks beautiful when sliced|
|and tastes delicious when eaten!|
We're moving on to a new book for the Avid Baker's Challenge 2012 - The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge - and the first recipe was chosen for us from the author herself! Can't wait to get baking.
Bye for now...