Whomever invented almond paste I will be forever indebted to. Forever. Love the stuff. Just think it is the best thing since sliced bread. I try to stay away from it as much as possible, but I don’t or rather can’t resist a superb almond croissant!! That being said, this recipe was on my list to make and finally had the perfect opportunity to splurge on friends. It was fabulous, easy and you must indulge if you’re a marzipan fan. No Doubt about it. Here’s all it takes:
1 1/3 cup sugar
8 ounces of almond paste
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon orange flower water
6 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch diameter spring form pan, dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand. Add the cubes of butter, the vanilla and almond extracts, and the orange flower water. Process until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition, scraping down bowl as needed.
Add half of the flour mixture to the food processor bowl and pulse a few times. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix by hand until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Do not over mix here (I just left it in the cuisinart and folded mine in for fear of over mixing). Pour batter into prepared spring form pan and bake for 65 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.
Remove cake from oven and run a sharp serrated knife around the perimeter, loosening the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in pan; once cool, remove sides of spring form pan and invert cake onto rack. Remove bottom of spring form pan and parchment paper from the cake. Carefully turn cake back over and onto a cake plate for serving.
Although I don’t think the photos give it justice, this cake is super moist and super delicious. Hey, six eggs and two sticks of butter gives you an idea. Really, this is perfect for special guests and can be served with sliced fresh strawberries or ice cream and nutmeg sprinkles. Subtle, yet decadent. Nothing beats almond paste. I thank the Marzipan Gods for creating such a perfect, delicate staple in my pantry!
One last thing, it tells you to slide a knife around the spring form pan 15 minutes after taking out of the oven, but mine literally shrunk back towards the center and was super easy to take off the outer ring. One thing on the next batch, you place the parchment paper on top of the bottom of the pan, and this needs very little butter or oil. I will try leaving out next time, but it was great to take off of the bottom to finish cooling the cake with out continuing to bake it.