Friday, February 08, 2013

February Fabulousness: World's Best Almond Cake

The marvelous thing about having a charismatic dog like Thistle, is the friends you make, um, or should I say, the friends she makes. Thistle's new best friend is Amanda Hesser, former New York Times food editor and now one half (with Merrill Stubbs) of the amazing Food 52 food community. So being the opportunist that I am, I asked Amanda if I could post her recipe for World's Best Almond Cake, first published in Cooking for Mr. Latte and revised for the Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Thistle's new best friend: the lovely Amanda Hesser

Amanda's new best friend, Thistle

Amanda says: "I call it my 'thank you cake' because it travels so well. I've sent it across the country many times. Who doesn't like getting a cake in the mail?" And "send my love to Thistle" she added.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, more for buttering pan
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (measured after sifting)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
7 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
Confectioner’s sugar, for sifting over cake

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; line sides and bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper. Mix together the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Sift the flour and salt in another bowl.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the almond paste, a little at a time, at medium speed, and beat for 8 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until incorporated. It will look curdled, don't worry. Blend in the almond and the sour cream mixture. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture until just blended.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 1 hour. It is done when you press the top and it returns to its shape, and also shrinks from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool in the pan. When ready to serve, sift confectioner’s sugar over the top.

"The cake that will save your soul" via

One sunken but delicious cake, serving 10. Maybe served plain, with whipped cream or with berries in the summertime.

If you search for Amanda Hesser's almond cake, you will find words like "perfection" and "soul-saving" and "bliss."  All true. This is, actually, the world's best cake.


S said...

Beautiful. What a treat. Hugs to Thistle x s

LPC said...

Ah wonderful! When her husband's book came out, I reviewed it on the blog. And found out that my father had gone to St. Paul's with Tad's father. Like I said, small world...Love the turn your recipes have taken.

JimmY said...

I agree with both of you this looks like so yummy I like it very much.
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ASHA patail said...

Fantastic work guys im a fan of your website.
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