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nice, but not a macaroon…

November 19, 2012

Lisa and Fina were debating Christmas Eve festivities – a little early I felt, but they like to be organised and they want me to bring almond macaroons so they obviously feel that they have to start hinting (hinting?) now. I suggested an almond cake and this didn’t go down too well. Almond macarons are lovely, but I feel that sometimes changes can be rung. So I dug out the almond cake recipe and made the cake.

It’s definitely one for lovers of marzipan, so I made it while Arlo was away for the weekend (Arlo doesn’t like almonds – I am often concerned about this because I judge people by whether they like marzipan or not).

He went to band camp on the moor –  a whole weekend of playing his clarinet.

He came home so shattered that he was too tired to read to himself and so I read him a William story from William the Conqueror – the one where William hasn’t done his French verbs homework and tries to pretend he’s mortally ill only to be cruelly unmasked by his father and the local doctor. By a strange twist of fate Arlo didn’t make it to school this morning – he did have  a temperature though (unlike William). But I digress.

Almond cake. It’s based on Marlena Spieler’s Pesach Almond Cakes recipe in the Jewish Heritage Cookbook. Based on. Grease and line an 8″ square cake tin. Put 1 and a half cups of ground almonds and a quarter cup of fine polenta in a bowl and mix well. Add 1 cup of white sugar and half a cup of dark brown molasses sugar – rub the molasses sugar in with your hands so that there are no lumps.

In a separate bowl put two small egg yolks, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, 2fl oz prune juice (or apple juice) and a teaspoon of almond essence and mix well. Pour into the almonds and sugar mixture and stir. It won’t look very promising – stick with it.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them in to the mixture. Dollop the mixture in to the tin and bake for about 25 minutes at 180c – until the sides pull away slightly from the paper.

While the cake’s cooking mix a cup of icing sugar with a teaspoon of almond esence and enough water to make a runny icing – about a single cream consistency. Pour this over the cake as soon as it’s out of the oven and then bake for another 10 minutes – the icing will flake a little. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. Cut into squares. It tastes even better the next day – if you can bear to wait. I don’t know if it’ll do the trick with Lisa and Fina though…

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