Remember the other day when I told you about my cookbook tradition? Well, I bought the Pastries from the La Brea Bakery cookbook on a recent trip to LA. My family and I went to LA for a long weekend to have our family pictures taken by my favorite photographer and so that I could attend the Food Blog Forum seminar. It was a great weekend, one that I am not soon to forget. Here are a few highlights.
When I came home from our trip, I couldn’t wait to get back into the kitchen. 4 days is a long time for me to not cook anything. I went straight to my new cookbook and made the recipe that I wanted to try the most. I had plenty of time to leaf through this book on the 6 hour ride home while my children talked non-stop. Cookbooks are good for tuning out kids. I adore almonds and anything almond flavored. I knew that this recipe needed to be made solely based on the amount of almond paste needed. This cake is not overly sweet, very moist and well, just plain yummy.
For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) almond paste
5 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted
For the Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter cut into half inch cubes and frozen
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and let cool. Make sure your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Prepare a 6 cup loaf pan with butter.
Cream the butter and baking powder on low for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides.
Add the almond paste one Tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add the eggs a little at a time mixing well in between additions. If the mixture begins to separate, add 1 Tablespoon of the measured flour. Add the flour in 3 batches mix on low until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Pour the melted chocolate over the surface and using a fork or a toothpick swirl the chocolate into the batter.
In a food processor combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until it is the consistency of coarse meal. As you can see, I doubled this recipe and made two. One for you and one for me.
Crumble the topping over the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. This cake keeps very well if wrapped well.
Make this poundcake to take to a neighbor or share a piece with a friend over a cup of coffee. You will have a friend for life.