Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting, Apricots and Toasted Almond Slices
Created by Chef John McConnell, executive chef, Clif Family Winery, for Almond Board of California
1 cup – unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup + 1 TBSP – sugar *(plus more for pan)
1 cup – cake flour
¼ cup – almond meal
¾ cup – whole, blanched almonds
1 tsp – baking powder
1 tsp – kosher salt
1 each – vanilla bean, seeds scrapped
2 each – whole eggs
¼ cup – sour cream
*4-5 each – apricots, pitted and sliced into wedges
Almond Butter Frosting
1 ½ cup – almond slices, toasted
Apricots, freshly sliced
½ cup – unsalted butter, softened
1 cup – almond butter
3-4 TBSP – milk, whole
1 ¾ cups – powdered sugar
½ tsp – kosher salt
Use 9” or 10” tart pan with removable bottom. Preset oven to 350F. Butter inside tart pan and sprinkle sugar inside pan to coat, dump the excess off.
In food processor add flour, almond meal, almonds, baking powder and salt and pulse until mixture is finely ground. No large visible pieces of almonds should be seen.
In kitchen aid mixer fit with paddle, add butter, ¾ cup sugar and vanilla seeds. Beat mix on high for 4-5 minutes until the mixture appears light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until thoroughly combined before adding the next egg. Continue to whip mixture for an additional 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy again. Stop mixer and carefully add all of the dry ingredients (flour, almond meal, almond pieces, baking powder and salt) and mix on low speed until incorporated. Be cautious to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure the mixture is homogenous. Lastly add sour cream and continue to incorporate on low speed. Arrange the apricot slices inside the buttered and sugared pan. Pour the thick batter over the apricot pieces and then sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the poured cake. Bake on a sheet tray and rotate half-way through cooking time. Cook cake until lightly golden brown for about 50-55 minutes. Cooking time will vary, but to ensure it’s cooked, use a cake tester. Let the cake cool on a wire rack before transferring to a cake dish to frost.
For almond butter frosting, use a kitchen aid mixer fitted with a paddle. Place the softened butter inside with almond butter and whip until well mixed and soft. Add the powdered sugar and lower speed to incorporate. The powdered sugar will make the frosting thick. To adjust the consistency, thin with the milk one tablespoon at a time. Keep the frosting inside the stand mixer. Place a layer of plastic film on the surface of the frosting to prevent hardening.
After cake is completely cool, top with frosting and use an off-set spatula to spread a thin layer over the top. Garnish the outside of the cake with toasted almond slices just around the edge of the cake. To serve, slice the cake into desired sizes and garnish with ripe slices of pitted apricots.