Monday, March 16, 2009
An Irish Teatime Cake
At gift shops and tea rooms in both the U.S. and the U.K., I have seen these little rectangular recipe booklets from J. Salmon Ltd. in Kent. Because I did not have an Irish edition, I ordered this one from a seller on Amazon.com. "Irish Teatime Recipes: Traditional Cakes from The Emerald Isle" has 34 recipes for cakes, shortbread, scones and other goodies. I'm ready to start celebrating St. Patrick's Day, so yesterday I tried this recipe for Almond Cake. I tweaked the recipe a bit and converted some measurements, so here's how I made it.
1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4-1/3 cup sliced almonds, pulsed in the food processor
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, then add beaten eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add flour and baking powder and blend. Add almonds and almond flavoring and mix just until combined. Pour mixture into an 8-inch-square glass baking dish lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with cooking spray; I did both and it was overkill!). Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into slices. Makes a very moist, spongey cake with a nice little crunch from the ground almonds.
According to this book, "Almonds provided a flavouring that was especially popular in the 18th and 19th centuries." I like the flavor of almonds myself, so to go with my Sunday afternoon treat I had some of Upton Tea Company's Sweet Almond Green Tea. The loose tea is simply loaded with almonds, so it's no wonder this tea has such a great almond flavor!