I don’t feign to be perfect at anything.. far from it for most things. But I do like to dabble a little in different hobbies just to keep me on my toes, keep life interesting, and keep continuously learning. One of these hobbies that I actually love doing is baking. I’m always game to try out a new cake recipe, although the decorating part still eludes me.
Sometimes it’s nice to bake a cake for no other reason than having the time and not wanting to waste leftover ingredients around the kitchen. This was the case this past weekend, where I found half a package of almond paste (can’t remember what the other half was used for) in the fridge… no green fuzzies or funky smell, so it was good for use. I remember coming across an almond cake recipe from Molly Yeh, so I decided to give that a go. She’s been making this cake every Valentine’s day since 2010 (and possibly before that, but her blog doesn’t go back that far).. so I expected that years of experience could only result in a delicious cake.
Since I only had half a package of almond paste (only 4 oz), I made exactly half the recipe, which included getting my hands on this Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion. I had never baked with (or heard of) princess emulsion before, so this was going to be something new (Side note: more information and experimentation about it here from Tasting Table). And since I only had half the required amount of almond paste, I baked the cake in a 6″ springform, instead of 10″.
I topped it off with a simple whipped cream (1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1/4 cup maple syrup – because I ran out of powdered sugar)… and the results were SPLENDID! The cake was the perfect balance of almond and sweetness, and the texture was so light and airy. I loved it (Minh not so much, but he doesn’t care for almond.. or dessert.. or sweets in general – who did I marry???). I may need to keep some extra almond paste as a pantry staple, just so I can whip up this cake whenever I get a craving.