My Oma & Opa used to bring back beautiful marzipan candies from Germany each time they traveled back to visit their family. As a little girl, I used to marvel at the miniature fruits. I would gaze into the box to admire the tiny details and gorgeously painted gems. Inevitably, my very chubby little hand would reach into the box for the prettiest one, I would take a little nibble to savor it, and like clockwork I would quickly and dramatically spit the horrid tasting thing out. Each time I did this, I would wonder why I fell for the little marzipan’s trickery yet again and wonder how something so beautiful could taste so disgusting.
As an adult, I still think those candies are tiny works of art, but the unique almond flavor has grown on me tremendously. This Almond Cake reminds me of less-overwhelmingly flavored marzipan, but the texture is what will have you craving the cake for months. I know this because a good friend of mine brought a few slices to work around the holidays and I was hooked. I’m convinced that when you make this Almond Cake, like me, you’ll crave the density, moistness, mild almond flavor, and especially, the chewiness of the top layer. It might not be as beautiful as the little candies of my childhood, but this time the flavor is guaranteed to leave you swooning after every bite.
Makes one 9-inch round cake
- Food Processor
- 9-inch Springform Pan
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 8 oz. almond paste (I found in the international section of my local grocery store)
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract
Heat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare the pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the pan and parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and baking soda. Set aside. Don’t be worried when the sour cream starts to fluff up a bit – that’s what you want to happen.
In a food processor, blend together the butter, sugar, and salt. Slowly tear off small pieces of the almond paste and add to the food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy. One at a time, pulse to combine the egg yolks with the almond mixture. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and now-fluffy sour cream, and pulse until well-combined. Slowly pulse in the flour. Scrape down the sides, and pulse one last time until all ingredients are well-combined.
Transfer the mixture into the greased pan. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to the edges and smooth the top.
Bake until the center does not jiggle and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean– about 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack, in the pan. Dust or decorate with powdered sugar and serve.