Wee Almond Cakes

Wee Almond Cakes

It seems as though I’m on a nut kick recently, but here we go again…in these little almond cakes, you’ve got a super easy dessert with healthy fats & fiber…and butter & sugar! And potential bonus – they don’t have any flour in them – you can totes impress your gluten free friends with your tasty, thoughtful dessert…and they taste great with every fruit…like rhubarb!

The key ingredient in these little cakes is the almond flour (almond meal or ground almonds, pretty much no diff). Sometimes you can find almond flour at the grocery store, but I would avoid it unless you can find it somewhere that keeps it in the refrigerator…like at Bob’s Red Mill in Portland. But it’s cheaper to make your own and easy to boot.

This recipe calls for kirsch (cherry liqueur), which tastes really fantastic with almonds, but you could substitute 2 tsp vanilla, or 1 tsp almond extract, or some other kind of booze like Grand Marnier. With all cakes it’s best to have all of the ingredients at room temperature so that you don’t get that weird lumpy slimy butter (it just stiffens when you add the cold eggs) that started out looking all creamy – and your cakes won’t be as light and fluffy. I usually take everything out of the fridge the night before, or place the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes or so.

These cakes are in the rich pound-cake territory, more suited to fruit than icing. You could bake it in a round cake pan or a loaf pan, but mini-muffins are my favorite because the edges get sort of nice and chewy…you can taste a few and no one will be the wiser! And it always tastes better if you butter. Y’know, the pans.

~I’m going to post this with the weight measurements now, because if you don’t have a scale, get a scale already. But I will make these in the next week or so and get some cup measurements in here for you scale-less.~

Wee Almond Cakes ingredients

  • 125 g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 250 g sugar
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 2 Tbsp kirsch
  • 250 g almond ‘flour’*
  • 75 g cornstarch (get organic to avoid GMOs)
  • pinch of salt

Get your oven going & butter your pans (and flour too if you want fool-proof pan-release). In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (almond flour, cornstarch & salt), then set aside. Cream butter by hand, or with a mixer (paddle on a stand mixer) til white, then add the sugar and cream together for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the sides, then add the kirsch. Stir in the dry ingredients, but don’t mix it too much – just until it’s homogenous. They puff quite nicely, so don’t fill the mini muffin tins too full. Bake at 350˚ for about 10 minutes (about 30 minutes for a bigger pan). Remove from the pans while still warm but not hot.

*Almond ‘Flour’ ~ Start with blanched (the white, skinless ones) almonds, or peel your own by simmering them in boiling water for about 5 minutes – test them by fishing one out and seeing if the skin slips off – then rubbing them with a towel. Or if you’re feeling rustic, what the heck, use them with the skins on.

Throw (now skinless) 2 Cups of almonds into the food processor with about 2 Tbsp of sugar and grind em up. The sugar prevents the oils in the almonds from clumping into almond butter – delicious, but harder to bake with. Voila, you have a delicious dessert making staple, almond flour.

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