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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Almond Cake with Ginger Rosemary Syrup and Grapefruit Ice Cream

Birthdays are special and should be celebrated as such. When I get the chance to help a friend celebrate by making their cake, my goal is to make that cake as memorable as possible. The cake should represent them, their personality and their energy.

This Almond Cake was for a friend who is refined and classic with an refreshingly cool and sassy layer. The ground almonds give the elegant cake it's  grainy-like texture while the ginger syrup keeps the cake mouth-wateringly moist. The grapefruit ice cream brings in a bold punch against the ginger.

An elegant birthday cake by all standards, yet casual enough for any Fat and Happy day.

 Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: This cake could stand on its own, with just one layer and without the custard as a simple light dessert. It pairs extremely well with the grapefruit ice cream, but you could go with a classic vanilla instead.

Almond cake

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 cup toasted, cool almonds
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbls melted butter
powder sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the sugar, flour and almonds in food processor, grind until the almonds are completely crushed and simulate sand. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add in the baking soda, baking powder and the salt.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whip the eggs until they are pale and fluffy. Mix in buttermilk and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the almond mixture and mix well. Fold in the melted butter.

Pour into 2 round, greased cake pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, roughly 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle each cake with 2 tbls of the Ginger Syrup (recipe below, use the ginger syrup before you add in the rosemary) on top while still warm. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans.

Putting it all together: 
Place one layer of cake on a platter, spread the custard on the top of that cake and add the second layer of cake. Secure the cake with toothpicks or wood dowels (to keep the top layer from sliding off) if needed. Sprinkle powder sugar across the top.

Serve with a drizzle of the Ginger Rosemary Syrup across the plate and a small scoop of Grapefruit Ice Cream.

Vanilla Custard Filling

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbls flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg. mixed with a fork
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbls butter

In a sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook until bubbly; stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and temper in the egg. Return to medium low heat and continue to cook until until thickened, about 5 minutes, again stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and cool completely in the refrigerator.

 Ginger Glaze and Ginger Rosemary Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
fresh ginger, diced large - about enough to fit in the palm of your hand
1 small sprig of rosemary

Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool

Use this on the warm cake as directed above. Then add a small sprig of rosemary to the syrup; use this version of the syrup to drizzle on the plate when serving.

Look for the Grapefruit Ice Cream recipe here!

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