Sunday, 26 August 2012

Almond spice cake

This cake is so almondy and flavoursome it’s a nut-lover’s dream.  The almond in the cake comes predominantly from the marzipan layer baked into the batter.  I made the cake square and, whether pastry or marzipan,  I am totally unable to roll things out into anything but circles.  Don’t panic if you’re the same – simply cut the curvy edges off and use for patching!

The fudgy glaze sets to a crisp shell and adds lovely texture and flavour.  It was hugely popular with my eatership and I will definitely use it again on future cakes.

If you’re not mad on cinnamon, use another spice of your choice – nutmeg or even ginger would work well; as would simply increasing the mixed spice.

I had a couple of slices of the cake left over (this should indicate that it’s a BIG cake!) so, on a subsequent evening, gently warmed them in the oven and served with custard for dessert.  Hardly a shocking newsflash but, guess what, it really worked!

For the marzipan:
115g ground almonds
55g icing sugar
55g caster sugar
1 teaspoons almond extract
1 egg, separated

For the cake:
260g unsalted butter, at room temperature
260g caster sugar
5 eggs
340g self raising flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
115g flaked almond

For the topping:
75g unsalted butter
150g light brown sugar
3 tablespoons double cream
50g flaked almonds
To serve: thick cream

Start by making the marzipan: Place the almonds and both sugars into a bowl and stir until combined. I did this in my Kitchenaid mixer.
Add the egg yolks and almond extract and mix until well combined.
Add a spoonful of the egg white and beat, continue to add tablespoonfuls of egg white until the marzipan forms into a firm ball.
Roll the marzipan out to a 20cm square between two sheets of clingfilm  – this means you don’t have to add any more icing sugar to it, plus peel off only one sheet of clingfilm when you wish to position on the cake – you have far more control over it while the clingfilm supports it (obviously put it face down on the cake i.e. so the clingfilm is on top!)
Peel off the clingfilm.
Trim the marzipan to size then put to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.

Place all the cake ingredients, except for the almonds, into a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth and well combined.

Fold in the almonds.

Spoon just over half the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Gently place the rolled marzipan onto the batter and smooth it down if it’s crinkled or curled up anywhere.

Place the remaining batter on top of the marzipan and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool, in the tin, for 20-30 minutes before removing the tin and leaving the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the topping: heat the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until they are blended – stir regularly.

Bring the mix to the boil then remove from the heat.

Place a sheet of foil or kitchen paper on your work top, then stand the cake on a wire rack directly above the paper (to catch any drips).

Drizzle the topping over the cake then sprinkle the almonds on top.

Leave to set for approximately 20 minutes.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created. 



missflash said...

I love almonds. Your cake looks lovely. I didn't even know you can make your own marzipan. I have a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing the recipe :-)

Jacqueline said...

I thought it was beautiful when I saw it. I was excited to read on. Then I read marzipan :(

Wish I loved it, but I don't. It still looks like a gorgeous cake!

Dipika @ The Very Hungry Baker said...

This looks amazing. So amazing it should be illegal! But I'm glad it isn't :o)

Debs Dust Bunny said...

Oh dear, looks like I am about to learn how to make marzipan! ; ) I LOVE cinnamon so this cake looks perfect to me. Thanks for another fantabulous recipe!

Alfie said...

I love marzipan in cakes, especially when eaten warm. Sounds like a great recipe for colder days, I'm going to bookmark it for some autumn baking...!

Gloria said...

this cake look absolutely delicious I adore marzipan:)

Laura loves cakes said...

I'm definitely going to bookmark this sounds so unusual and completely delicious!! I've made a coupe of bakes with marzipan baked in and they tasted really good!! A lovely cake!! :-)

Katie said...

WOW that looks amazing. I adore anything almond. It reminds me of a simnel cake, only without the fruit.

I'm the opposite to you, I can't roll circles, everything comes out in squares or rectangles, no matter how hard I try. I make rectangle pizzas now and don't even attempt a circle :)

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

Oh! This is definitely my kind of cake. I'm a nut lover & love marzipan§ These cake looks fabulous with wonderful flavors! YUM!

Cakelaw said...

Mmmm, fudgy glaze - and cake with custart - two of my favourtie things! This cake looks delicious. I think I'd like to try it with ginger.

Kezia said...

That looks absolutely delectable! Marzipan, almonds and spice - three great ingredients that I love. Yum!

Donalyn said...

Spice cakes are one of my favorites - what a great idea!

Vix Johnston said...

Hmm... thinking about stealing this recipe for an Iron Cupcake entry... tho will deffinately have to do a test-bake to see about timings. I think I could get away with chilling and grating the marzipan into the mix, rather than rolling out and cutting disks...

Also, Re the gelatine-set cheesecake from the other day. Have you tried using Vegi-gelatine? One of our IC Bakers is a vegi and complains that she can't taste cakes with jelly in them...

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Vix

Yes, I think it would work as a cupcake - obviously be careful with the timings!

Have to admit I've never used vegi gel as none of my friends or family are vegi!

Happy baking

sensibilia said...

Home made marzipan is tops - far better than anything you can buy. Same goes for home made lemon curd.

Have you a home made lemon curd cupcake recipe by any chance!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Sensibilia

Your wish is my command!

Happy baking!

sensibilia said...

Oooh, thanks, CC! I will print that one out!

We love lemons in this household, preferably all mixed up with something really sweet. Like treacle (on baked chicken breasts), or in a lemon tart.

It's the contrast I think.

Can't believe you haven't learnt to love them!

Choclette said...

Anything with marzipan gets my vote and this sounds especially good with those spices and fudgy glaze to boot. Mind your bakes always have me buckling at the knees.

Nicola said...

What a gorgeous looking cake. I love cinnamon and marzipan so it sounds like sheer heaven! :-)

Lucy said...

This cake looks gorgeous - the marzipan centre sounds amazing! Such a good cake to start September baking.