If you’re not already a yogurt lover, you will be instantly converted after tasting this adaptation of Bert Greene’s cake. The yogurt is a refreshing alternative to the usual addition of sour cream or buttermilk.
10-inch tube pan or other 12-cup decorative tube pan
Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a paper towel, generously grease the bottom and sides of the pan with solid shortening. Dust generously with all-purpose flour, shake to coat, and tap out the excess.
Pour the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in that order into a triple sifter. Sift onto a sheet of waxed paper to distribute the ingredients evenly; set aside.
Process the unblanched almonds in a nut grinder such as a Mouli or other rotary-type grater until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal; you need
Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and whisk just to combine the yolks and the whites. Pour yogurt into a liquid cup measure.
Grate only the yellow part of the lemon for the zest.
Place the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer.
With the flat beater (paddle), cream the butter on medium speed (#5) until it is lighter in color, clings to the sides of the mixing bowl, and has a satiny appearance (about 30 to 45 seconds).
Maintaining the same speed, slowly add the granulated sugar. When all the sugar is added, stop the machine, and scrape the mixture clinging to the sides down into the center of the bowl. Continue to cream at the same speed or until the mixture is very light in color and fluffy in appearance for 4 to 5 minutes.
With the mixer at medium speed (#5), pour in the eggs, cautiously at first, tablespoon by tablespoon, as if you were adding oil when making mayonnaise. If at any time the mixture appears watery or shiny, stop the flow of eggs, and increase the speed until a smooth, silken appearance returns. Then decrease the speed to medium, and resume adding eggs.
Continue to cream, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides of the bowl at least once. When the mixture appears fluffy, light in color and velvety and has increased in volume (about 2 to 3 minutes total from the time you began adding the eggs), detach the beater and bowl. Tap the beater against the edge of the bowl to free the excess. Then stir in the almonds and lemon zest with a rubber spatula.
Using the rubber spatula, stir in one-third of the flour mixture. Then add one-half of the yogurt, stirring to blend together. Repeat, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with a final addition of flour. Scrape the side of the bowl often, and mix until smooth after each addition.
Spoon the batter into the pan, and spread it level with the rubber spatula. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake springs back slightly when touched lightly in the center, the sides begin to contract from the pan and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of cake.
Place the cake on a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. With mitts, tilt and rotate the pan, and gently tap it on the counter to see if the cake is releasing from the sides. If not, or if in doubt, run a small metal spatula or the thin blade of a table knife between the outer cakes edge and the metal rim, freeing the sides and allowing air to get under the cake as it is rotated.
Cover the cake with a cooling rack, invert it onto the rack, and carefully lift the pan to remove. Cool completely.
If you plan to use this cake within 24 hours, wrap it in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
If you are freezing it, cover the plastic-wrapped package with foil. Label the package, indicating the contents and date. Freeze for no longer than 2 weeks.
Measure the powdered sugar, and sift it into a
Toss the whole almonds with the remaining glaze, and place each one strategically on the cake to decorate it.
© 1984 Flo Braker estate. All rights reserved.