Almond Cake with Blueberries, Cherries & Yogurt Whipped Cream
Monday: almond cake. Monday: organization.
About organization: I try to hold everything in my head at once. For a few days, this works fine, and then every thought, item on my shopping list, mundane to-do, and thought about the coming BGSK redesign (!) start to spew out onto sticky notes. And emails to myself. And notes saved in folders on my computer that I’ll never find again. That is, until I discovered this system called bullet journaling, designed by an art director hoping to keep his projects in line. His site is kind of the best of the internet, an idea that’s smart, free, well-designed, and always evolving.
If you believe to-do lists are the province of the nutty, read on for (nutty) cake. If you, on the other hand, are looking a way to keep track that’s as simple as sticky notes but a lot less alarming, go poke around the site: it’s good. (If you give it a go, I love these steno notebooks since I’m a sucker for notebooks that lie flat and fit in all my bags). The trick is indexing, so even your randomest notes don’t get lost.Count among those random notes of mine a lot of shopping lists, dinner ideas, thoughts on repurposing leftovers, and potential cakes I can bring to a dinner party. Here were the bullets I wrote down for what became this dessert, which I said I’d bring to Leora’s:
- features summer fruit
- good at room temp
- easy to transport by subway.
So, about cake: here’s the dessert I ended up with.
- Rich slices of almond cake
- Topped with pitted cherries and blueberries
- Finished with dollops of slightly tangy yogurt whipped cream.
A cake that’s already cut into slices may raise suspicions that you got hungry while you were baking. In fact, it solves the transportation problem well and reduces crumbs in your host’s kitchen. It’s not for a birthday, of course. I pitted the cherries at home, then stored them in a jar with a little sugar. I mixed the yogurt and cream together in my kitchen but I whipped them right before we ate. The cream and berry-topped slices more than make up for not having a cake to cut into. This cake, whole, isn’t that pretty anyway. And maybe I was a little hungry…
- 1½ cups blanched almonds (210 grams)
- 1½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Heaping ¾ cup almond paste, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar mixed with the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean (or, okay, you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
- 10 ounces (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- For the whipped cream and berries:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- About 1 cup cherries, pitted
- About 1 cup blueberries
- Place the almonds in the blender. Pulse til finely ground. Add the sugar, egg white, and almond extract. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch springform cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter that too.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until very fluffy. Measure out a heaping ¾ cup of the almond paste, break it into pieces, and add it to the bowl, continuing to beat until it's integrated (it may be lumpy at first). Add two eggs, beat til well incorporated, scraping down the sides, then add two more, again mixing well, and finally add the last egg, scraping the sides and mixing until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until each one is incorporated. Don't overmix. Scrape the batter into the pan and use an offset spatula to get th etop even. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Set the cake on a rack and cool for 30 minutes, then release the sides and cool another 30 minutes. You can serve hot, or let the cake come to room temperature.
- Whisk all the ingredients together until the cream holds soft peaks.
- Cut into 12 wedges and top each big dollops of cream, some cherries, and some blueberries. You can arrange on one platter or do this on individual plates.