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Almond Cream Cake

by Jon Platt on November 22, 2017

ALMOND CREAM CAKE

 

 

If you’re looking at this cake and happen to remember the pinkalicious cake we recently posted, you’ll think that we’re in an almond kind of mood. It’s true. We do love our almonds. What is sad is that this Almond Cream Cake has been sitting in my “to-do” pile for 3 months. Anyone else have a to-do list like this?

It’s not that I wasn’t excited about sharing it with you, or that it didn’t taste as good as the other treats we’ve been sharing. Quite the opposite, actually. I wanted to give this cake the credit that it was due, and with the busyness of the holidays, I kept pushing it aside until I had more time.

 

 

Well, your wait is over, my friends.  Let me tell you about this cake.

First of all, it’s a completely homemade white cake. That means from scratch. No boxed mix. I love boxed cake mixes because they turn out perfectly nearly every time.  But making a cake from scratch has always been this challenge that I’ve wanted to tackle.

In finding a delicious recipe for white cake (which happens to be my favorite flavor), we had several failures. I wanted a moist cake, but I wanted it to have a light crumb and be thick, but not heavy. We tossed aside several different attempts, but when I saw how this cake baked up? I knew this was it. For a homemade cake, this one beat the rest. It’s velvety and moist. Can you see the texture in this photo?

 

 

Something about it reminded me of an angel food cake, maybe the pure whiteness or the light crumb. It has a classic cake texture, though and baked evenly and beautifully.  The recipe uses cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. All purpose flour has more protein in it (10-12 grams in all-purpose as opposed to 8 grams in cake flour), which forms gluten when you mix it. This causes the cake to be more “holey”. The less gluten there is, the more tender the cake is. The starch in the cake flour helps to stabilize the cake. There’s more science behind the reasons you should use cake flour when baking a cake. Although I like learning the science behind baking and sharing it with you, sometimes it is just easier to let the experts explain it. You can read more of the science behind cake flour here.

 

 

The second special part of this cake is the frosting. Although we love our buttercream recipe, I was wanting to try something a little different for this cake. I’ve always loved whipped frosting because it is less sweet than many store-bought buttercreams. I searched for a delicious whipped frosting and came across this recipe that got rave reviews. It’s a cooked frosting…something I had never tried before! This frosting takes a bit of time to make, but one spoonful and you may just be hooked.

When you make the frosting, it is important to follow the directions carefully. You’ll want to cook the milk and flour together over medium heat until the mixture is very thick and resembles mashed potatoes. Don’t undercook this! It took about 10 minutes for me to get my mixture to this texture. Stir constantly while it is cooking so it doesn’t burn on the saucepan.

 

 

At this point you’ll probably be questioning how in the world this is going to taste good on your precious cake. Trust me. It will.

Let the flour and milk mixture cool to room temperature and add the almond extract. You can speed up the process by placing the pan on ice if you’d like. It cools within minutes if you use this trick. Also, stir the frosting a few times while it is cooling. This will prevent a film from developing over your frosting. Stirring it and even placing plastic wrap right on top of the frosting will help to keep your frosting smooth.

While this is cooling, take the granulated sugar and put it through your food processor to make the grains of sugar finer. Why do this? In the next step, you’ll cream the butter and sugar together until there is no graininess left. It will take less time if you process the sugar first. Or you can use a superfine sugar such as this one.ALMOND CREAM CAKE

Once the butter and sugar are completely creamed together (beating about 5 minutes), add the cooled flour mixture and you are going to beat the mixture with the wire whisk attachment for a good 5 minutes. The mixture will go from having a separated look to coming together into a beautiful whipped cream. Just when you think it isn’t going to work it will start getting fluffy and look like a delicious whipped frosting. Go ahead. Sneak a little taste. Just be warned that you may not be able to stop eating it.

 

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