1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup packed almond paste (about 3 ounces)
½ pound (2 sticks) margarine
2 tablespoons corn syrup
¼ cup milk
1½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups unblanched almonds
1 cup yellow cake crumbs (see tips)
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
Use a 10½- x 15½- x 1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with heavy aluminum foil, letting the foil extend over the edges of the pan. This recipe can also be made using two 9- x 9-inch cake pans. I have made this in a 9- x 13- x 1-inch pan successfully, although making a 2-layer cake will result in very tall pieces and it needs about 5 minutes more baking time to completely cook through.)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the pan(s) with aluminum foil and grease the foil with oil spray or alternatively by putting a pat of margarine on the pan and placing the pan in the warm oven for 30 seconds, and brushing the softened margarine around.
- 2 cups unblanched, raw almonds
We usually put a little more than half in a food processor and pulse it until it is relatively fine and chop the remainder by hand. See the adjacent photo to see how fine the two types are. Mix the almonds together and use them in the following steps of the recipe.
Sift together, yes really sift not stir, and set aside.
- 1 cup cake flour (or 1 cup less 2 tablespoons of sifted all-purpose flour), being sure to sift the flour before you measure it.
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Whip together to form soft peaks
- 3 egg whites (reserve yolks for next step)
Reduce the speed to medium and slowly beat in
- 3 tablespoons sugar
Reserve egg whites for use at end of recipe.
In the mixer beat on medium speed until blended smoothly, about one minute
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup packed almond paste (about 3 ounces)
- 1 egg
Add and mix until blended, about one minute
- ½ pound (2 sticks) cold or slightly softened margarine, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
Add, one at a time
- 1 egg (yes, the remaining whole egg)
- 3 egg yolks (reserved above)
Beat for one minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl during the process. Decrease the speed to low and add
- ¼ cup milk
- 1½ teaspoons almond extract
The mixture may look curdled: fear not. Add
- 1¼ cups of the almonds chopped earlier
- 1 cup yellow cake crumbs (see note below)
Also add the flour mixture, and mix just until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter looks smooth.Do not overbeat.
Using a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the almond batter, working just until no white streaks remain. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. (When I’ve baked it in the 9 x 13 x 1-inch pan it has taken about 28-30 minutes to bake fully.)
Cool thoroughly in the pan. Use the overhanging edges of aluminum foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then peel the foil away from the sides. Invert the bars onto the back of the baking pan and remove the foil carefully. Working on a cutting board with the bottom side up, trim off the edges of the cake and with the long side facing you, cut the cake in half. You will have two pieces measuring about 10 by 7½ inches each. (You’ll have to do your own math from this point on if you are working with the 9 x 13 x 1-inch pan.)
Spread one piece with
- ¼ cup raspberry jam
Use the removable bottom of a tart pan or a very large spatula to invert the remaining piece and slide it, top side up, on top of the jam-covered layer. Spread
- ¼ cup raspberry jam
over the top. Sprinkle with
- ½ cup (or a bit more) of the almonds chopped earlier
evenly over the top and dust the top with
- powdered sugar
You will have one double-layered piece measuring about 10 by 7½ inches. To cut into 20 pieces, cut four rows the long way and five rows across. This makes 20 bars, 2 by 1½ inches, but you should cut them into pieces as you see fit.
Grate ⅓ of a commercial pound cake to make 1 cup of cake crumbs. If you’re in a pinch, a grated corn muffin will work.
You can also assemble this as a single-layer cake. Either way,the top layer looks best if you put the nuts on 6 hours or less before serving. The cake keeps up to a week in a cool kitchen, but it won’t sit around that long.
Adapted from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor by Elinor Klivans