All I remember from that night was getting handed a huge slice and finding the plastic baby inside as I went to take a bite, which meant that I got to wear a golden foil crown all night and was rewarded with more sweets. Planned? Probably. But little me was to excited to care.
So I decided to recreate this cake with a twist from my younger years because:
A. Anything with almond meal is da bomb.
B. I actually have it in my pantry for once in my life. (One day I'll perfect macaroons...)
C. I have a lotttt of coworkers who are gluten free that I always want to bake for! Gluten free substitutes can be tricky too because certain ingredients that I’ve found will dry out my recipes, or alter them significantly, so I wanted to find something I could start from scratch!
What if I were to tell you that an almond "flourless" cake were possible?
I’m usually never one to make audible noises of pleasure when I dive into something I’ve baked, (I find it a bit creepy...), but guys. This cake had me on the floor. Dan and I both took a bite and looked at each other with wide eyes and no words. We agreed that it’s easily on of the best thing I’ve made to date.
You're probably thinking "Ariel...there's almond flour in there...it's not completely flourless..." Which is totally understandable! The reason I keep calling it that is because this recipe requires folding egg whites into the batter, similarly to flourless cake, to give it this fantastic texture. Since the egg whites give the batter more volume when beat, it lightens the mixture and in turn, creates this fluffy cake that melts in your mouth.
Do any of you have something you loved as a kid or have special memories of that you might still make today? Or GF desserts that accommodate everybody?
Have a great rest of the week everyone!
Almond Meal Cake
1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (to mix with the almond meal)
1/2 cup sugar (to mix with the egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
2 1/2 cups almond meal
10 1/2 oz. ricotta cheese
Powdered sugar or slivered almonds to decorate?
Preheat oven to 365 degrees
Grease a standard cake pan (I use a springform pan), and set aside
1. In a large bowl using your handheld mixer, or in a stand mixer, blend the softened butter and 1 1/3 cups sugar until smooth and fluffy. This takes about 5 minutes.
2. Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and the egg yolks and continue to blend the mixture on a medium speed. Add in the almond meal and mix until just combined, then fold in the ricotta cheese until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl in your stand mixer, or using your hand held device, blend your egg whites on a high speed until soft peaks form. You’ll be able to tell when the eggs start to foam. At this point, put in half of the remaining sugar slowly as the eggs continue to beat on a high speed, then slowly add the second half. You should see the egg whites get shiny. You might think you’ve been blending for too long, but once you see a nice glisten, that’s when they are fully mixed.
4. Slowly folding the whites in 2 parts into the almond meal mixture to avoid deflation. Once it is mixed, pour it into your cake pan and smooth. Set in the oven for 45 minutes or once you start to see the cake start to brown around the outer edge. Do not poke any holes into the cake because that will deflate it. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving so the cake sets.