Makes one 9-inch cake
The single ingredient in almond meal, also called almond flour, is almonds — nothing else. Bob’s Red Mill brand makes a blanched meal and a “natural” one. The blanched is light in color; the natural is darker, made with unskinned almonds. For this cake, use blanched meal. This is a simple, delicious confection with lots of orange flavor and crunch from a topping of sliced almonds.
|Butter (for the pan)|
|Pinch of salt|
|1||cup superfine or granulated sugar|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|Grated rind of 1 orange|
|2||cups almond meal (almond flour)|
|½||cup sliced almonds|
|Extra superfine or granulated sugar (for sprinkling)|
|Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling, optional)|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit it. Line the sides with parchment paper.
2. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites and salt until they hold stiff peaks. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula to transfer the whites to another bowl.
3. In the mixer bowl, combine the egg yolks and superfine or granulated sugar. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or until the mixture is pale and thickened. Beat in the vanilla.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the orange rind and almond meal until thoroughly blended. Then stir ¼ of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, which is quite thick at this point, to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites until no pockets of white show in the batter.
5. Spread the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and superfine or granulated sugar. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it is brown on top and set in the middle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Unlatch the ring on the springform and lift it off. Carefully peel off the parchment. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cake to a platter, leaving the parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like. Sheryl JulianSheryl Julian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.