This week, baking class was all about tiny cakes with tasty extras. How do you feel about apples? We can soak them in a little bit of dark rum first, if you want to. Or do I need to bring out the chocolate to seduce you? Easy. Concerned about your health/diet? We can always go the wholewheat route... You'll just have to ignore the huge amount of butter involved in making these wholewheat cakes.
You know what? Let's just go with my personal favorite of the pack: the fluffy, nutty almond Génoise mini-cake.
This Génoise thing is really growing on me. The almond cake was the only one of the four varieties to be prepared as a Génoise - the others followed the classic pound cake method - and it was by far the fluffiest one. Seriously, when you bite into one of these tiny cakes, you can hear all of the air trapped inside of it escape. Such a satisfying sound!
And then there's the taste... Oh my... This is not a cake with a subtle hint of almond hiding somewhere in the back. Nope. There's no way around the almonds. They are deliciously in your face. As they should be.
Go for it!
recipe from baking class (syntra west)
makes 10-12 small cakes, or 1 large cake
5 large eggs
150 gr finely ground almonds
225 gr granulated sugar
125 gr all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoon baking powder, sifted in with the flour
75 gr butter, melted
75 gr whole milk, lukewarm or mixed with the hot butter
1. Unless you're using disposable or silicone baking molds, butter your cake tin(s) and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
2. Loosely whisk the eggs in a medium, heat-resistant mixing bowl. Combine sugar and almonds to a broyage and add it to the eggs. Beat eggs and sugar together over a double boiler (au bain marie), moving the mixing bowl around so that it heats evenly. Check the temperature of the mixture by putting the back of your finger in it. When the mixture feels just slightly warm to the touch - this shouldn't take very long - remove the mixing bowl from the heat. Continue beating the broyage-egg mixture until it is white and fluffy.
3. Combine melted butter and milk and pour about 1/3 of it into the broyage-egg mixture. Gently fold it in with your whisk. When the butter is incorporated, add about 1/3 of the flour. Again, use your whisk to gently fold it in. Repeat both steps twice more until all of the butter and flour are incorporated, making sure to end with the flour.
4. If you're making one large cake, you can simply pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. If you're making smaller cakes, transfer the batter to a piping bag fit with a tiny tip - this batter is very runny - and fill the prepared cake molds for about 3/4.
5. Bake in a 180˚C oven until the cakes are golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Depending on the size of your cakes, this can take from 20 minutes to 1 hour. Try not to open the oven door during the first 15-20 minutes of baking, though, as this can make your cake collapse.
6. Let cool on a wire rack. Wait 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the cake tin. Allow to cool further on the wire rack.