Monday, January 2, 2012

Avid Baker's Challenge: Frangipane Ripple Chocolate Pound Cake

Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions was the 2011 Avid Baker's Challenge book and I wrapped up my participation with the October selection...the delicious Frangipane Ripple Chocolate Pound Cake (page 335).

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 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 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...


  1. I feel taste of your cake. My mouth is still watering. It can't be stop. I am Chocolate lovers. So whenever i saw Chocolates/Chocolate recipes, water spoiled from my mouth. I will surely bake this recipe.

  2. Yay, Alice: 1 - Almond Flavoring: 0, ha ha. I'm glad you tried that almond paste recipe. I love it!! Last time I made it, I doubled the recipe and stashed leftover (in 1 oz balls) in the freezer. Your cake looks beautiful and so does the ripple. I'm adding a link to your post in the ABC blog section for that cake :o)

  3. Thanks, Motorcycle Chain! This cake is excellent for chocolate lovers :)

    Hi Hanaa! I'm so glad I made the almond paste too...and writing up that post made me crave it all over again. I'll have to make more soon and I love your idea of freezing it! I was actually thinking it'd be good in the banana-chocolate cake we just made in place of the banana.