Sunday, January 13, 2013

birthday brown butter almond cake

it was our friend michel's birthday yesterday, and well, i mean, a birthday does require cake, no?
inspired by the always fabulous smittenkitchen, i dreamt of cake the night before last. yesterday morning, i decided, most resolutely, that i must make a brown butter cake. hers is with hazelnuts. but you know what i had in the cupboard? almonds. an lo a substitution was made. plus i didnt have to remove any hazelnut skins. i also changed the sugar--she used powdered sugar in her cake batter and i didnt. i used regular sugar. well, ok, i used some powdered sugar but i didnt have enough for the whole lot. note to self: we are out of powdered sugar.

IMG_7178ingredients include:
150 g almonds
225 g butter
4 tbsp powdered sugar
5 tbsp flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites


first, the almonds were pan roasted and the butter was browned. once the almonds were cool, i combined the almonds with 4 tbsp of powdered sugar that i did have on hand, and gave them a whirl in the ol' food processor. once ground, i added the flour and combined.


the eggs whites and sugar went for a spin in the kitchen aid until soft peaks formed. then the butter and almond mixture took turns combining with the fluffy eggs until i had myself an amazing smelling batter.

i oiled and papered my springform pan, poured in the batter, and baked at 175 for about a half an hour. all the while, i was making carrot soup. and prepping raspberries for curd.


i decided to use my food mill to prep the raspberries. you'll forgive me for not knowing the quantity. i used 2 boxes of frozen berries, and the mister has already dutifully taken out the recycling so i cant look. im going to guess 600 g because it sounds like a nice number. once defrosted, the berries were mashed and deseeded, leaving me with a gorgeous red puree. i did not get all the seeds out, and you know what? it's fine by me.  i looked up a number of curd recipes and no one tempered their eggs. i found this to be strange. my recipe was cobbled together based on what others have done, ingredient-wise, and what i thought i should do for creation.

IMG_719085 g butter
4 egg yolks (i saved the yolks when i separated the eggs for the cake)
1/2 cup sugar

butter and sugar were creamed together, and then i added the puree. everything was placed in a saucepan and warmed up, slowly, until the butter melted. i let it get a bit warmer, but still not boiling, and tempered the eggs. then i put the mixture back into the saucepan and returned it to the stove. cook, cook, cook... cook, cook, cool. i kept stirring and stirring all the while. once it was cooled significantly, i realised it was not thick enough, so i made a cornstarch slurry and threw that in.
lastly, i prepped the ganache. this time i used cream.

1 container whole cream (just a little over a cup)
1 bar bakers chocolate
1 small blob of butter

i broke the chocolate into bits, warmed the cream, and then poured the cream over the chocolate. i let it sit for a moment then stirred until it was shiny. i let it cool for a bit, on its own, and then it was shoved into the fridge to help it along. then it was whipped.

IMG_7202and then, assembly time! i cut the cake into two layers and piped a round of ganache on the outer edge. i spread the curd on the inner circle and plunked the cake back together together. i did a crumb coat and then, using a turntable (my mother is not lazy, thankyouverymuch), i frosted the cake.


and then it was party time!

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