Monday, April 26, 2010

Not So Sweet Continued...Let Them Eat Cake

This cake reminds me of the “eat me” cake Alice ate when she fell down the rabbit hole- it is a shortbread like cake, a little dry but buttery and not too sweet.  You could eat it for breakfast or as a dessert. The cake is not too difficult to make, and I think it actually improves a few days after you bake it, becoming more moist.

Gateau Breton from Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
½ cup blanched sliced almonds
¾ cup superfine sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature: She recommends using either Organic Valley European-Style Cultured Butter (84 % butterfat) or Vermont Cultured Butter (86% butterfat)
4 large eggs at room temperature.
1 tablespoon dark rum, kirsch or water
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (sifted into the cup and leveled off)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray with baking spray with flour either a 9 ½ inch fluted tart pan (1-1 3/4 inch sides) with removable bottom or a 9x2 inch cake pan encircled with a baking strip.  * These silicone baking strips that go around a 9 inch round cake pan are wonderful- you do not get that crusty, dry edge ( I ordered them from LaPrima shops on-line).

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until light gold, about 7 minutes.  Stir once or twice to ensure even browning.  Cool completely.  In a food processor, process the almonds with 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt until fairly fine but not powder fine.

In a mixer, mix together the butter and the remaining ½ cup of sugar and beat about 1 minute until smooth and creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in yolks one at time, beating about 20 seconds after each addition.  Add the almond mix, rum, vanilla and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise to medium speed and beat about 20 seconds until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the flour in 4 parts, beating for about 15 seconds on low speed after each addition and turning off the mixer between additions.  Using a spatula, mix in any remaining flour and then turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.  Brush the top of the cake with the beaten egg.  Use the tines of a fork to make a cross hatch of three long lines in two directions to prevent the batter from puffing up unevenly.

Bake the cake 35-45 minutes until deep golden brown and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.  Let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan, if using tart pan, and invert cake to remove bottom.  Reinvert onto a plate.  If using cake pan just invert onto plate and then reinvert so top is up.  Cool completely. ((post by susan))

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