Category Archives: Golden Lemon Almond Cake

How to Make Rose’s Golden Lemon Almond Cake

I tend not to make a lot of bundt-style cakes, but I might need to change my habits because this was excellent. It didn’t take long for the girls, the missus and I to polish it off. Little 2-year-old Joan, who likes cake but has never been passionate about it, loved it so much she ate it for dessert two nights running. On the third night, when I was forced to tell her there wasn’t any left, she put her chubby face in her hands and cried. That’s good cake.

I don’t have one of the very groovy 10-cup textured bundt pans of the kind Rose uses for this cake, but I plan to get one. The classic 15-cupper will have to do, even though the batter won’t fill it. First thing to do is preheat the oven to 350 while you get it prepared for baking. Baker’s Joy is the best product to use in this case, but failing that, just melt about two tablespoons of shortening in the microwave. Pour it in…

Spread it around with a brush, though a paper towel will work just as well.

Pour in half a cup or so of Wondra instant flour…

…and start tapping it around. Don’t forget the tube.

Empty out the excess flour and you’re ready to rock and roll.

Now toast your almonds in your preheated oven until they’re just golden. About like so:

Cool them and pour into the bowl of your food processor. Process about 10 seconds, then add 1/4 of the turbinado sugar, and process another 15-20 seconds until very fine.

Next, combine your wet ingredients in a medium bowl with 1/4 of the sour cream…

…and whisk just to combine.

Now bring the batter together. Combine the almond mixture plus the remaining dry ingredients including the sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle (beater).

Stir them on low until they’re combined, then add the butter and sour cream.

Stir on low to combine, then scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Until about like so:

Scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer down to medium low and add the wet ingredient mixture in two installments, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the bowl.

Now pour the batter into your prepared form and smooth it with a spatula. See that slightly grainy texture? It’s because I beat the batter a little too long and broke the emulsion slightly (Rose won’t be pleased). The cake probably didn’t rise quite as high as it could have as a result, but it was still excellent. So where was I? Oh, bake it for 45-55 minutes.

Rose adds:

I don’t believe it matters if the batter looks/becomes slightly broken down–that happens in several of my cakes and your texture and cake looked excellent.

When the cake is almost finished, prepare the syrup. Combine the lemon juice and turbinado sugar in a small sauce pan and heat it until the sugar is about 80% dissolved. Don’t boil it. You want a few crystals still floating around on the bottom, about like so:

When the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to test it. If the skewer comes out clean, just keep poking the bottom of the cake all over to create channels for the syrup.

Paint about a third of it on and let the cake rest for 10 minutes.

Apply a cardboard cake circle (or platter)…

…flip the whole works over…

…and paint on the rest of the syrup.

You can see those residual turbindo sugar crystals on top there. They create a sparkly effect (or would if the sun was shining) and give the crust a crispy/crunchy texture, even after it’s been stored for a day. Which, by the way, Rose recommends.

Just wrap it airtight in plastic wrap and try to keep your mits off of it for 12-24 hours. Could I? Well, no. But I’ll thank you to do as I say, not as I do.

Filed under:  Desserts & Cookies, Golden Lemon Almond Cake | 5 Comments

Rose’s Golden Lemon Almond Cake

Since this week will be largely based on my interview with Rose Levy Beranbaum, it seems only appropriate that I make something out of the new book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I put it to Rose to give me the assignment. I was secretly hoping that she’d have me do one of the more opulent recipes, since I thought it would be funnier under the circumstances. Instead she asked me to make what she said was her current favorite, the Golden Lemon Almond Cake. I certainly won’t put up a fight. You’ll need a 10-cup tube pan (bundt pan) to make it. Here are the ingredients and procedures in my own words:

2 ounces blanched, sliced almonds
8.7 ounces (1 ¼ cups) turbinado sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
8.5 ounces (1 cup) sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
3/8 teaspoons lemon oil (preferably Boyajian)
8.7 ounces bleached all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ ounce (2 tablespoons) lemon zest
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350. Then prepare your pan by coating it with Baker’s Joy baking spray or brushing it with melted shortening, then dusting with Wondra instant flour.

Once the oven is up to temperature, toast the almonds for 7-9 minutes until they’re pale gold in color. Cool them.

Next, grind the almonds in a food processor for 15 seconds. Add ¼ of the turbinado sugar and process until very fine.

Next, combine the liquid ingredients. Whisk the eggs, ¼ of the sour cream, the vanilla and lemon oil until lightly combined.

Now make the batter. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle (beater), combine the rest of the sugar with the almond mixture, flour, baking powder, soda, salt and lemon zest and stir on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining sour cream and continue to stir until the ingredients are moistened. Scrape down the sides. Next, turn the mixer up to medium high and beat the batter for 1 ½ minutes.

Turn the mixer down to medium low and add the egg mixture in two installments, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sids. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the cake is deep golden and springs backs when touched. Mine took about 60 minutes.

When the cake is nearly done, prepare the lemon syrup. Combine:

3.5 ounces (half cup) turbinado sugar
2.2 ounces (1/4 cup) lemon juice

…in a small sauce pan over high heat. Continue to stir until the sugar is nearly, but not quite, dissolved (these larger crystals will give the crust a faint crunch and will give the cake a sparkly finish.

When the cake comes out of the oven, place it pan and all on a wire rack. Poke the cake all over with a skewer and brush on about a third of the syrup. Let it cool for ten minutes. Unmold the cake onto a cardboard cake round or serving plate. Brush the cake with the remaining syrup, cool it completely and wrap it airtight.

This cake is best enjoyed the day after it is made.

Filed under:  Desserts & Cookies, Golden Lemon Almond Cake | 6 Comments