Yesterday I turned 30. Thirty. I’m not one of those people to hide my age or groan over birthdays, but wow. Thirty is a new decade for me, and I’m looking forward to it.
You see, I had such an eventful decade in my twenties. I graduated high school, college, and grad school. I spent a year in Nicaragua, met my husband, and discovered my life calling to open a bakery café. I acquired four nieces and lost three grandparents. I lived in two countries, one suburb, one island, one rural area, and one city. I moved six times. I bought a house. I completed an epic hike in the Grand Canyon. I got a bike. And my favorite cat ever.
What will my thirties hold? Seeing my business come into existence? Seeing my children come into existence? Getting my home repaired? (Oh, it needs it so badly). Completing a triathlon? (That’s a big maybe). Keeping bees?
One thing is for sure: I will continue to cook. And bake. And love life.
For my birthday, I invited some friends out for sushi, had them over afterward for games, and baked myself this almond cake from Alice Medrich’s “Pure Dessert.” It was a home run all the way. By the time my 15 or so friends left, there was only 1 out of 24 pieces on the tray. Mind you, I may have had three pieces, but it was my birthday. One piece of cake for each decade.
I hope you will give this cake a try. It was light, rich, moist, and flaky all at once. The crumb held together nicely without being too dense. The flavor was incredible. I paired it with homemade honey ice cream, but I would recommend plain crema ice cream instead, or just whipped cream on top. That way, the cream complements rather than competes with the almond flavor.
I promise next time I’ll give you a healthy veggie-centric meal. In the meantime, let there be cake.
From Pure Dessert
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole raw almonds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Blend ingredients in food processor until smooth.
3 large eggs
1 stick of butter, softened and cut into chunks
1/3 cup flour (I used spelt)
6 tablespoons sliced almonds
Add flour to almond mixture. In a buttered round cake pan, sprinkle sliced almonds over bottom and sides of pan so they lay flat. Carefully scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until inserted fork comes out cleanly. Let cool in pan, then slide a knife or thin spatula around edges to loosen. Invert onto plate, so that the almond-crusted bottom is facing up. If the cake sticks, you may instead cut the cake into 12 slices, then arrange on a serving tray.
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Gluten-Free Almond Cake