Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Scandanavian Almond Cake

Scandanavian Almond Cake
(taken from Joanne Fluke's "Carrot Cake Murder" book...the Hannah referred to in the recipe is the main character, Hannah Swensen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle
1/2 cup salted butter
1-1/4 cups white sugar
1 xtra large eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup cream (can use half & half)
1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Before you start to mix up this recipe, grease (or spray with Pam) a 4-inch by 8-inch loaf pan..
2 Cut a strip of parchment paper (or wax paper) 8 inches wide and 16 inches long. Lay it in the pan so that the bottom is covered and the strip sticks out in little "ears" on the long sides of the pam. (this makes for easy removal after your cake is baked). This will leave the two short sides of the pan uncovered, but that's okay. Press the paper down and spray it agai nwith Pam (or another nonstick cooking spray)
3 If you decided to use the sliced almonds, sprinkle a few in the very bottom of your paper-lined loaf pan).
4 HANNAH's 1ST NOTE: Don't let this next step scare you...it's extremely easy an dit will keep your cakes from turning too brown around the edges.
5 Place the stick of butter in a one-cup Pyrex measuring cup (or another microwave safe bowl). Zap it for 40 seconds on HIGH, or until it's melted) (You can also do this in asmall saucepan on the stove). Now pour that mleted butter through a fine-mesh strainer, the kind you'd use for tea (or a larger mesh strainer lined with double thickness of cheesecloth). After the melted butter has dripped through, dump the mmilk solids that have gathered in the strainer tinot he garbage (or throw away the cheesecloth) . What you have left is clarified butter
6 Set your clarified butter on the counter to cool while you.... Mix the white sugar with the egg in a medium sized bowl, or inthe bowl of an electric mixer. Beat them together until they're light and fluffy.
7 Add the baking powder and the almond extract. Mix well
8 Cup your hands around the bowl with the clarified butter. If you can hold it comforabley and it's not so hot that it might cook the egg, add it to your bowl now and mix in. If it's still too hot, wait until it's cooler and then mix it in.
9 ** Add half of the cream and mix it in. Add half of the flour and mix it in. Now add the rest of the cream, mix. And then add the rest of the cream, and mix.
10 Pour the batter into a loaf pan you've prepared and smooth the top with a spatula
11 bake the cake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
12 Let the loaf pan sit on a wire rack or a cold burner for 15 minutes. Then loosen the cake from the short sides of the pan (the non=papered sides) with a metal spatula or a knife.
13 tip the cake out on a pretty platter and remove the parchment paper. Let it cool and then dust the top with powdered sugar if you wish.
Cooking Tips
**HANNAH's 2ND NOTE: In the following steps you're going to add half the cream, and then half the flour. You don't have to be precise and measure exactly half. Just dump in what you think is approximately half and it's be just fine.
HANNAH's 3RD NOTE: Mother's friends Joyce & Nancy have special half-round loaf pans especially for baking Scandinavian Almond Cake. Joyce's cake bakes for the same length of time as mine does. Nancy's pan has dark nonstick surface. It's heavier than Joyce's pan and the dark surface makes it bake faster. Nancy bakes her cake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

1 comment:

GailD said...

This was very good!

However it did not cook long enough. Toothpick came out (seemingly clean) at 50 minutes. But upon cooling, it collapsed in the middle. When I cut into the cooled cake, I found out why.

I had used a glass pan - that probably slowed down the cooking.