Baking during the summer months is not for everyone. Although we've not quite reached the official season, it is June, and it is cool and grey. Perfect baking weather. This is a big benefit of the San Francisco summers that aren't really summers at all.
I was originally inspired by David Lebovitz. I adapted his recipe the last time I made almond cake and the cake you see outlined below was inspired by my last. David adapted his recipe from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere. I've veered so far from David's recipe I hesitate to even drag him into what I've done here.
Why is it so different? My kitchen is very low-tech, I wanted a healthier cake, and I wanted to make less cake. I always make too much cake. I adore the version I've made here, Chris likes it too, but David and Lindsey haven't tried it, yet.
Almond CakesI am sure whipped cream or berries would be nice with this cake, but I like mine plain.
8 petite slices of cake
1/2 cup brown sugar
7 ounces pure almond paste
1/2 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
confectioners sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 325ºF
Butter two 16-ounce ramekins and dust them with flour. Line the bottom of each ramekin with a round of parchment paper. Combine sugar, almond paste, and half of your flour (only 1/4 cup) in a medium bowl and break, crumble, and sift with your hands until the almond paste is broken up into pea size bits. In a small bowl combine the other half of your flour (1/4 cup), baking powder, and salt. Gently stir with a fork or your fingers to mix well. Add olive oil and vanilla extract to medium bowl with almond paste mixture and stir until it reaches a gritty smooth state. Add eggs, one at a time, to medium bowl, stirring well after each egg. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over wet ingredients and stir gently, just to combine. Do not over-mix. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Divide batter evenly between your two prepared ramekins. Bake cakes for approximately 45 minutes or until the tops reach a deep brown color and spring back when pressed in the center. Remove cakes from oven and run a knife around the perimeter of each ramekin to loosen the cakes. Allow cakes to cool completely in ramekins and they should slip out easily. Peel away parchment and you are all set. Dusting with confectioners sugar is optional. Each cake can be sliced into 4 petite slices.