So this week was my mother in law Joyce’s birthday. I’m still getting used to saying I have a mother in law, haha. This meant I had to make her favorite dessert….. Almond cake. Over the last 5 years that I’ve known her and my father in law, they have tried and enjoyed many of my desserts, however this one instantly became their favorite. I kind of fell into this idea when I was making traditional sugar cookies at Christmas, and thought they needed some flavor. I added the almond extract, and everyone loved them. This led me to think… I bet I could add the almond extract to vanilla cake, and give the cake a tasty flavor also.
Here’s the deal with cakes. There are three basic methods to make a cake. The first method is the creaming method, or rather the two bowl method (which is the most regularly used method). The second method is the combination method, which is similar to the creaming method. The third method is the quick method (one bowl), which is what I’m using to make this particular cake. The quick method is definitely my favorite because it produces a denser, moist cake. This style cake contains more moisture due to the stunting of gluten formation. Basically, with this method the melted butter is added to the flour and dry ingredients. The butter stunts the gluten from forming by coating the flour before it hits the liquid. Gluten is activated and forms when the liquid hits the flour, and in this case when that happens the flour is already coated with the fat (butter), causing less gluten to develop. I feel this method works best with the almond flavor, especially (as I noted before) since this cake is denser. I also prefer this cake a little less done in the middle, almost giving it a gooey texture. What’s more, this cake is unique since it has no leveling agent. Also, it will not rise very high like your more traditional cake, but I promise the taste and texture are amazing!
On to the star ingredient… Almonds! This recipe uses almonds in two forms; almond extract, and almond slices on top of the cake. I guarantee that if you’re not eating almonds as a snack, you most certainly will be after you try this delicious cake. Almonds are my favorite nut, and here are some of the reasons why. They are arguably the healthiest, with high antioxidant properties. They also are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals. Almonds are also high in monounsaturated fats, which are the good fats. These nuts also help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease. Furthermore, they suppress hunger, but don’t worry… they won’t suppress your hunger for this cake. 😉
Now that you know how “healthy” this cake is… haha, are you ready to make it? 😀