My friend Camilla Mann and her son D developed one of the best cakes I have ever had. It’s a gorgeous limoncello cake, perfect in density and moisture and flavor. I’ve made it three or four times in the past four months. Here’s the recipe: http://www.culinary-adventures-with-cam.blogspot.com/2014/02/dylans-limoncello-rosemary-cake.html
Note: it’s also a link to one of my favorite food blogs.
Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, but so is almond. I wondered what would happen if I changed Camilla’s recipe to an almond recipe….
It’s pretty fantastic, too.
Second note: play with the amount of amaretto you add, between 2 – 3 T, depending on your preference. Three could be too strong, even for almond fans.
1/2 c semolina flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (using the two flours adds texture to the cake. I tried skipping the semolina and it was awful. don’t skip it.)
1/2 c unsalted butter
1/4 c dark brown sugar
3/4 c white, granulated sugar
1 c almonds, chopped or slivered, whatever texture you prefer
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
2/3 c whole milk
2 – 3 T amaretto
Third note: I used handfuls of sliced almonds to line the bottom of my baking dish. They toasted up during the baking and added a nice crunch to the bottom of the cake. I think you can safely skip it if you want, but it was a nice touch.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter your baking dish to prepare it.
Beat the butter and dark brown sugar and white sugar in a large mixing bowl until it’s light and fluffy. Really go to town on it. Seriously, take your time. The better whipped up it is, the lighter and airier your cake will be.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time. (See above note on wailing on the butter and sugar. Really show it who’s boss.)
Pour in the milk, amaretto and vanilla. (Again, mix it up.)
Here’s where you start to use a light touch:
FOLD in the semolina flour, then then all-purpose flour, then the baking powder and finally the almonds. Be gentle. Love your cake. Whispering sweet nothings to it, use a spatula to mix the ingredients just until they are moist. Just introduce them to each other.
Now, pour or scoop the batter into your baking dish and put it inside your preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes.
You can watch it bake, if you’re into that kind of thing.
When it’s done, take it out and let it sit in the dish for 5 minutes. Then, invert it onto a wire rack and let it cool down. It’s had an exciting hour. Let it gather itself together.
In the meantime, you can decide how to decorate it.
The first time I made it, I just sprinkled powdered sugar over the top. It was subtle but oh so pretty. Or, you can make a glaze it you want to dress it up a bit.
1 c powdered sugar
1 T amaretto
2 T cold water
Whisk them together till they make a pretty glaze, and pour over the top of your cake.
(Last note: if the cake hasn’t cooled, the glaze will drip off the side. Not a problem, just an FYI.)