Italian Almond Cake

Torta di Mandorle

This moist, easy-to-make cake is great for breakfast or afternoon tea. Of course, it is also a delicious dessert at the end of a meal, particularly if topped with some whipped cream. Simply whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon sugar just before serving.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the cake pan
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the cake pan
  • 8 ounces unblanched almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° on the bake setting. Smear the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter and dust with flour.
  2. Put the almonds, cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and chop the almonds to a medium-fine consistency. Transfer the almond mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Cut the 12 tablespoons butter into 12 pieces and put it in the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugar. Beat on medium-high speed, preferably with the paddle attachment if you have one, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the butter mixture and putting the whites in a separate bowl. Mix until the yolks are thoroughly incorporated. If you’ve been using the paddle, add the almond mixture to the bowl with the butter mixture and mix until homogeneous; transfer to a medium bowl. If you have been using a whisk, transfer the butter mixture to a medium bowl, add the almond mixture, and mix thoroughly by hand with a wooden spoon.
  5. Wash and dry the bowl and whisk of the electric mixer. Take care that no traces of the butter mixture are left in the bowl or the whites will not whip properly. Whip the egg whites in the electric mixer on high speed until they form firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, shake it gently to even it out, and lightly smooth the surface using the rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.

Note

This almond cake will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

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