Wednesday, January 07, 2009

petite gateaux d'amandes

or petite almond cakes. They aren't really french - but I think desserts sound dressed up in French. They are probably more Scandinavian...

I made these yummy little cakes for Christmas eve. They aren't that difficult, but they are unique enough to have that allure of only having them certain times of the year. For some reason I have designated Christmas/New Year's as a time to make them.

It's a very dense almond cake - almost a pound cake. But you cook it in a sheet pan. Can you tell by the spreader how THICK the batter is?

I got the recipe from a good friend and great cook many years ago. You use almond paste (in a can or a tube) and I think it is the secret weapon.

Maybe mine seem suited for this time of year because I use a star cookie cutter to cut them out. But you could use any shape. I think my friend just used a small 1 1/2" circle. The leftover bits are great for trifle or shortcake type dessert too.

I was going to top them with lemon curd (delicious) but I thought I had some and didn't. Boo. So I dusted some with powdered sugar, others dolloped with a bit of strawberry jam (raspberry would be delightful as well). And some I just left au naturel.

Just trust me when I say it hard to eat just one.

Petite Almond Cakes
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour, or 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. regular flour
1 8-oz can almond paste (Solo brand, or I used a danish paste that came in a little box with a tube of it inside)
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

Grease and lightly flour 15x10x1 inch baking pan, set aside.
Sift the cake flour, set aside.
Crumble the almond paste into large mixing bowl.
Add sugar and 2 of the eggs. Beat 2 minutes.
Add butter and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 3 minutes.
Add remaining eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping sides of bowl frequently.
Fold in flour.

Spread batter in pan. Bake 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until light brown. Cool. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Using a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 54 cake rounds from chilled cake. Decorate as desired.

Decorating ideas:
*Orange buttercream frosting garnished with grated pistachios and mandarin orange segments.
*Chocolate buttercream frosting, garnished with shaved chocolate and chocolate dipped raisin or whole almond.
*White mountain frosting, topped with a sugared pansy.
*Pink mountain frosting, garnished with a pink rosebud.
*Lemon curd
*Fondant with toasted coconut.

10 crafty mcCrafters commented:

Mary said...

Those look amazing -- I love anything almond. I add almond oil to anything that calls for vanilla. Did you have some galette this week? Happy New Year!

Sarah said...

They look delicious...and who doesn't love a good ole' Scandinavian treat?! :)

Megan Young said...

Those look amazing, I have to make sure I am around next time.

Jenny said...

These look yummy! Glad you posted the recipe -- thanks! :) Think I'd have to be feeling pretty ambitious to attempt these though ... ;)

The Letteer Family said...

I'll have to try it!

Dana said...

They look, and sound, delish!

Debbie said...

glad you are back! i have missed you! looks so yummy!

Unknown said...


Karen said...

ok - I am such a loser I don't even know the diff between cake flour and regular flour. Where do I find this elusive cake flour you speak of? I will need to try to make these as soon as I am off my diet.

sewtakeahike said...

You've got a lot of energy there Amy! I made peanut butter cookies yesterday and was wiped!

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