Sunday, 3 February 2013

Norwegian Almond Cake

Welcome to a new year at Adventures of The Cane Girl!

I have a confession to make...  I don't make resolutions.  None.  Not one at all.  

Why you ask?

Because my follow-through sucks.  Big time.

Look, for example, at this blog.  I go through spurts and down-time more than anyone else.  Partly it's my job which takes me out of my kitchen for huge chunks of time.  Secondly, it was a promise I made that this pastime wouldn't segregate me from my family and friends.

After wrapping up a wonderful holiday with my family, I returned home and lined up a few dinners and visits with some wonderful people.

This particular evening, Ron and Diane came for dinner and I served them a fantastic dinner of Champagne Shrimp and Cream Sauce Pasta (which I do plan on featuring here soon!) and this cake.

And I'm going to tell you about it now.

First off, the recipe calls for finely chopped almonds.  I had my concerns when I saw that I had o fold the whites into said almonds.  So I bought these very fluffy looking ground almonds and called it a day.

Secondly, when I saw that I had to fold in whipped egg whites (like making an angel food cake), my poor heart sort of dropped.  Angel food cake scares the bejeezus out of me.

But I carried on anyway.

This cake actually ends up being a two day process.

On the first day, separate the yolks from the whites of five eggs.  But don't be like me.  Dump each white into a separate dish just in case you break the yolk on the very last egg and contaminate your
whites and then you have to dump ALL those whites because now they won't whip.  Ugh.

Do this because you need the whites for the next day.

Yes.  I went through 10 eggs to make this cake because I'm a dope and I had my over-confidant pants on.

In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the yolks and sugar.

Then add the cream and heat until very thick.  You'll know when it's time because when you dribble a little bit of the mixture on top, it'll kind of stay there.  I did have to turn the heat up though because it took FOREVER to thicken.

When the mixture reaches the thickness that you're looking for, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until the butter is completely incorporated.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap lightly on the top of the mixture and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, take out those egg whites (or if you're like me - crack and separate 5 more eggs), let those eggs come to room temperature.

While the eggs are coming to room temperature, there are other things to do.

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Now, this may seem hot, but the oven does need to be 400°.

Then, take out a 9 inch spring form pan and liberally grease the pan with butter.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, start whipping the eggs until they hold a firm peak.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, baking powder, and icing sugar.

Then gently fold in the whipped egg whites until well combined.

Pour the batter into to prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan.

Once the cake is completely cooled, remove the custard from the fridge.

Gotcha on that one hey?

You want to take out the custard now so that it will have a chance to warm up slightly so you can pour and spread it on the cake easily.

Run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the cake, just in case it stuck a little. Remove the outer ring of the pan.  I ended up having to use the knife to lift the bottom edges of the cake because it did seem to stick a little.  Remove the cake from the bottom of the pan onto your choice of plate.

Then, pour on the custard and spread it out to the edges.  Don't be afraid to let it go over the sides.

I suppose you could put in the extra effort to make it pretty, but I decided to leave it a little rustic looking.

I like it like that.

Then serve.  The recipe didn't say if the cake could be left out or if it should be refrigerated, but since I cooked the ever living heck out of the eggs for the custard - I'm sure it was fine on the counter for a couple of hours.  But anything longer and I would be much more comfortable with it being stored in the fridge.

For being (what I consider) such a simple, old world cake - it was really, really good!  But - let's be honest - old style recipes never really ever go out of style.

The custard was quite rich - so be prepared to pace yourself, and the almond in the cake was the perfect texture - light and sweet with a gorgeous crust.  This cake would be perfect paired with a light, summer dinner.

It was incredibly tasty - don't be fooled by the hot mess above....  It's a very impressive cake to feed to company!

This is the Cane girl - signing off.
Norwegian Almond Cake
5 egg whites
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup butter, cubed
1 2/3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups ground almonds
  1. In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until very thick.  A few drops dribbled onto the surface will remain visible.  If it's taking too long, turn up the heat gradually to medium heat at the maximum.
  3. Remove saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and completely incorporated.
  4. Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap lightly down on the surface of the custard.  This will prevent a skin from developing on the top.
  5. The next day, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Liberally grease a 9-inch springform pan.  Remove the egg whites from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, baking powder, and ground almonds.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold a stiff peak.
  8. Fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until well blended.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in pre-heated oven.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  11. Remove from oven and cool cake completely in pan.
  12. When the cake is cool, remove the custard from the refrigerator so that it will have a chance to warm a little so it spreads more easily.
  13. Remove the cake from the pan.
  14. Pour and spread the custard over top of the cake, letting the custard slide over the sides of the cake slightly.
Source:  Allrecipes

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