If any cake recipe could inspire you to bake cakes a little more often, it should be this one. This Almond Cake is an easy, low maintenance cake that needs no special preparation and tastes delicious even when it is served plain. The finished cake has a dense, pound cake-like consistency and a tight, tender crumb. It has a good almond flavor, which I enhance slightly by adding a bit of almond extract in addition to vanilla. It goes with everything from chocolate to berries to a simple sprinkling of powdered sugar, so once you add it to your repertoire, you can serve it any number of ways.
This cake is a variation of similar cakes that I have seen Jacques Pepin on his shows over the years. Like him, I mix this cake up in the food processor and it takes no time at all. I always have ground almonds/almond meal in my pantry, and if you do too you can mix this up in a bowl without a food processor, but the processor comes in handy when you only have whole almonds and need to grind them down into the flour mixture for the cake. I usually bake the cake in a single layer, but it can also be split and filled with fresh berries, whipped cream or a berry compote, like the one I made here.
I topped this cake of with an incredibly easy blueberry compote that I make in the microwave. It can also be made in a saucepan, but as long as you have a good sized microwave safe bowl, it is very easy to do in the microwave. I combine blueberries (fresh or frozen) with a small amount of cornstarch and some blueberry preserves. The preserves add just a touch of sweetness and help give the compote a nice, thick consistency. Raspberry preserves can also be used and you’ll still get a strong blueberry flavor. I simply add a scoop of the compote onto each slice of cake before serving, and keep the leftovers for topping waffles, pancakes and other cakes.
Almond Cake with Blueberry Compote
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds (or 4 oz whole almonds)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 inch round pan and line the base with a circle of parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, ground almonds (or whole almonds, if you need to grind them) and sugar and pulse until well combined (or almonds are ground). Add in baking powder and salt and pulse to combine.
Add in eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla and almond and process until cake batter is smooth and all ingredients have been incorporated. Pour into prepared pan, scraping the sides of the bowl clean with a spatula.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cake to cool in the pan, then turn it out, remove the parchment circle, and reinvert onto a cake platter or serving dish.
Top with blueberry compote (recipe below) to serve.
Microwave Blueberry Compote
2 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen.
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup blueberry or raspberry preserves
In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine blueberries and cornstarch and mix well. Add preserves and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until mixture just starts to bubble. Stir well, then microwave for 45-60 additional seconds, to allow mixture to thicken.
Cool slightly before using.