Recipe: royal raspberry and almond cake
I trust everyone had a merry Christmas and/or federal holiday! I want to thank those of you who bid on my raffle prize as well as all of the other fabulous raffle prizes at Menu for Hope IV this year. What an awesome turnout. MfH raised 50% more than last year’s effort – over $90,000! That’s a whole lotta raffle tickets, kids!
Ever since I found out that my Aussie friends have lovely cold seafood picnics on the beach for Christmas, I have steadily rejected the traditional roasted animal – be it of feathered or four-legged persuasion – in favor of those animals who gurgle and bubble in the sea. Now *that* is a treat to me. I grew up on the water and spent far too much time in it or at its edge during my youth. This year we had lobster bisque, crawdad phyllo triangles (crawdads = crayfish = yabbies), shrimp cocktail, and king crab legs for our Christmas “meal”. The meal was neither lunch nor dinner, but a long drawn out noshing session. We didn’t have it in us to eat dessert. Who needs dessert after all of those lovely critters?
oh you little beauty
I’ll post the crawdad phyllo triangles later, because if you are going to try a recipe, the one I have for you today is a hands down winner. This was one of my most reliable desserts when I lived at sea-level. I had all but forgotten about it after moving to the mountains because various bundt and pound cakes behaved so abominably that those recipes were on indefinite hiatus. For some reason, while racking my brain for a new cake to take to the neighbors, I was reunited with this beloved tea cake – and I’m so glad!
raspberries and almond pair well here
The instructions in the recipe threw me for a loop the first time I ever made this cake. Renny Darling nonchalantly says to mix the first seven ingredients together. Well… if you buy the almond paste that I buy (because it’s the only one I can find), then it ain’t mixing with anything. No, what you will want to do to save yourself some cursing and angry stickiness is to pulse the almond paste and the sugar together in a food processor first. Then you can proceed per her instructions.
blissful cake-making: give the almond paste a whirl with the sugar first
now mix everything together
The biggest concern for me is that cakes or cookies will rise too fast in this thin air. They rise too fast and then collapse – it’s like bad sex. I tinkered with the amount of baking powder, reducing it considerably for my elevation. However, if you are baking at sea-level, the recipe works perfectly.
folding in the raspberries
The baking time guidelines are on the nose for a single batch. I typically make a double batch because the recipe makes for a short (but cute) bundt cake. A double ends up baking for an hour and 5 minutes. Don’t let the color of the cake top fool you. It will be pale, but the cake that touches the pan will be browning up nicely. Use the toothpick test: moist crumbs okay, gooey needs more time.
pleasing to the eyes, nose, and tastebuds
The crumb of this cake is on the dense side, but the flavors of almond and raspberry are light in contrast. A slice is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. You can serve this as a breakfast cake, for afternoon tea, or even as a dessert after dinner. I omit the almonds in the glaze, and if I’m not serving the whole cake, then I only glaze each slice, but do whatever floats your boat. It’s an easy and delicious bite of happiness.
raspberry almond tea cake
Royal Raspberry and Almond Cake with Toasted Almond Glaze
from Easiest and Best Coffee Cakes and Quick Breads by Renny Darling
1/2 cup almond paste
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder (3/4 tsp for 8500 feet elevation)
3/4 cup raspberries
toasted almond glaze
1 tbsp cream
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 tbsps finely chopped toasted almonds
Preheat oven to 325°F. *Jen’s note: Pulse the almond paste and sugar together in a food processor until fine grained and mixed. Combine the first seven ingredients together until blended. Add flour and baking powder and stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Gently fold in the raspberries. Place batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan (or bundt) and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. [For a double batch, bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes]. Allow to cool in pan. To make the toasted almond glaze, stir together all of the ingredients until blended. When cake is cool, remove from pan and drizzle top with toasted almond glaze. Serves 8 to 10.