Contrary to what you may think, this is not a Southern recipe, but one adapted from an Italian cook you know very well, Giada de Laurentis. I published the recipe awhile back in my country blog which is really a recipe box for recipes that appeal to me from all sources. Some of them I have tried, others I have not. I don't know what took me so long to try this one. It is the best almond cake I have ever had and it is by far the best accompaniment I have ever found for fresh berries. That includes shortcake.
As a bonus, you will also note it has very little flour, perfect for those of you cutting back on wheat. This is really what prompted me to try it this weekend and boy, am I glad I did. Wheat or no wheat, this is a keeper.
Since it seems like ages that I last posted a dessert, I decided to push back the recipe I had planned for today and share this one with you. It was enjoyed by all over the long weekend.
On another note, you may have noticed that the latest two posts require you to click to another page to view the recipe. This is being done for a reason, a good one! Bear with me for awhile longer and you will see what's in store.....I am sure you will like it!
Cornmeal Almond Cake With Berries And Cream
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup almond paste, cut into half-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sour cream
For the topping:
1 quart sliced strawberries
1 quart fresh blueberries
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
1 small container of heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, cake flour and baking powder. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and almond paste on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract and slowly pour in confectioners' sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to high and add the egg yolks and whole eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to medium and add the sour cream and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool. Remove from pan and dust with confectioners' sugar.
For the topping:
While the cake is cooling, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan reduce to simmer and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and add the berries.
Beat the cream to soft peaks and add a tablespoon or two of granulated sugar if desired.
Serve the fruit and the cream alongside a slice of the cake. The cake/syrup combination is to die for!
Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentis