Saturday, April 8, 2023

Flourless Almond Cake (Amandier)

Adapted from From Baklava to Tarte Tatin by Bernard Laurance 

This is the little black dress of cakes. It’s a one-bowl cake, easy to make. It’s very sticky, not cake-y, rather like the difference between a brownie and a piece of chocolate cake.  It will be a thin disc of a cake to be served with whipped cream. I usually add a little Amaretto liqueur to the cream before I whip it. I also like it with Jeni’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream, but vanilla would be good too.

I have adapted this recipe quite a lot. The original recipe calls for almond flour, sifted, but I blitz my own unblanched almonds not quite as fine as commercial almond flour, and I definitely do not sift the ground almonds. I can't quite decide if I notice the difference between toasting the almonds and not toasting them, which probably means it's nice but not necessary.  The original recipe calls for baking the cake in a 6-inch cake pan, but I usually double the recipe and bake it in an 8-inch cake pan. If you want to use a 6-inch pan, half the recipe. 


This is best made the day before you are going to serve it, but don’t let that stop you if you want to make it the same day you are going to eat it; just make it early in the day.

Flourless Almond Cake


Ingredients for 8-inch cake


120 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled but still liquid, plus more for coating the pan

200 grams unblanched whole almonds, raw or roasted but definitely unsalted

1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt

100 grams confectioner’s sugar, sifted (I sift through a coarse sieve, not a flour sifter.) 

100 grams granulated sugar (I like Domino’s Golden Sugar)

2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten with

1 teaspoon vanilla extract




Preheat the oven to 325°F, not convection. If you're going to toast the almonds, now is the time to do it. Toast them in the oven 8 minutes, stirring at the 4-minute mark. Cool.


Generously butter the sides of an 8-inch cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper cut to fit. Do not butter the parchment paper.


Add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the beaten egg, and beat again. 


Blitz the unblanched, toasted, cooled almonds in a food processor but don’t grind them as fine as commercial almond flour. They should not be reduced to a powder.  Do not sift.


In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, salt, sifted confectioner’s sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the beaten egg (to which you have added vanilla) and the cooled-but-still-liquid melted butter to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. The batter should be quite thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, and, using a small offset spatula, smooth the top.


Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out (sort of) clean. (In my oven 40 minutes is just right.) You want to turn it out of the pan quickly. After 2, but no more than 5 minutes, carefully run a small straight metal spatula around the cake in the pan.If it seems to be “pulling,” wait a minute and try again.  After you have done this, release the cake. If it doesn’t seem to release right away, hold it upside down for a minute, and it will release. Cool before serving.

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