I have to admit that I've never been much of a chocolate person. Oh I do enjoy a wonderful piece of Swiss chocolate at Sprungli when I am in Zurich, but it's actually not a common craving for me. I once read that people are either into chocolate or lemon which I think is way too few choices as I am quite into almond as a sweet flavor. So when I suddenly develop a sweet tooth that doesn't involve cooking fruit, I will make an almond cake - my next choice after that always involves cinnamon, but that's for another day.
If you like almonds like me, than you would really enjoy my Father's favorite almond cake. I learned to make this when I was quite young. I believe the original name is Tosca Cake but we always called it Swedish Almond Cake. The original recipe only called for vanilla extract, but I like almonds so much that I add some almond extract too. The topping is a classic Swedish cookie and cake sauce that caramelizes as it cooks. One of my friends has a Mom who bakes it on top of graham crackers and it makes a lovely cookie that I will post someday. Anyway, I love to serve this cake with raspberries and strawberries. My sons insist that it needs lightly sweetened whipped cream too. Enjoy!
Swedish Almond Cake
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cream (or whole milk)
1/2 cup (or one stick) melted butter
Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts together until light. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Stir in flour mixture into creamed mixture 1/2 at a time and stir until well blended. Add butter mixture and stir until smooth.
Butter a 9" pie pan (I use a Pyrex pie pan) and spoon batter into pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes or until center is just becoming firm. Remove pan from oven and turn heat up to 375 degrees.
Make topping mixture below and spread very carefully on top of cake to cover. Put cake back int he oven and cook 5 - 10 minutes or until the mixture is brown and bubbling. Serve in wedges. Good with whipped cream and raspberries or strawberries.
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cup melted butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cream (or milk)
1 Tablespoon flour
Five Element Analysis
I'll never pretend that desserts are a balanced meal but they are quite wonderful as an extra helping of the Earth Element! This cake is very sweet so it is clearly Earthy and the almonds emphasize that element even more. The whipped cream brings in some of the Metal Element and some raspberries or strawberries add a little Wood from their tartness but belong to the Fire Element. Serving this cake with tea or coffee adds even more Fire.