VALENTINE italian almond CAKE

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for one second i thought about doing something funky this year in the form of an herby infused whipped cream or dying it red with pomegranate juice, but no, the valentine’s cake is sacred and must not be altered. every valentine’s cake requires a few things:

1. a full on raid of the candy aisle for all of the valentine’s shit that you may or may not use as a decoration

2. chocolate hearts

3. marzipan hearts (these aren’t *necessary* but… you really should…)

4. lots of little almond paste nibbles while making the batter

5. it may not be made at any other time of year

oh! and you may wonder what the best way to eat this cake is:

10-12 servings

ingredients

cake:

1/2 c flour*

1 tsp baking powder

8 oz almond paste

6 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt

1/2 c sugar

*i have made this before using almond meal instead of flour for a gluten free option. its shape didn’t hold very well, but it tasted just as great.

topping:

1 1/2 c whipping cream

1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp almond extract + a few drops of red food coloring or 2 tb creme de almond liqueur

chocolate hearts, marzipan hearts, any other decorations you’d like

clues

preheat oven to 350ºf. prepare two 8- or 9-inch or three 6-inch cake pans and set aside.

combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

beat almond paste and egg yolks until well blended, mix in vanilla and almond extract, and set aside.

in a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. beat in sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture and then gradually fold in the flour mixture. pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.

let cool.

for the topping, whip up the whipping cream and add the almond extract and red food coloring or the liqueur.

decorate to your heart’s desire (heh, no pun…) and enjoy!!!!

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