Almond Lemon Tea Cake

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Aly’s friend Lulu made this cake once. It was so delicious that she was inspired to try it as well. It turned out well but Aly learned that she really didn’t enjoy working with almond paste. Even after using her friend’s tip of softening it in the microwave before working with it, it was very hard to break up. She tried her best but had to bake the cake with a few clumps. After it baked one could see the slight discoloration of where the paste didn’t break up, but thankfully it wasn’t too noticeable in taste.

The recipe is a copy from Tartine’s cookbook, but with a few modifications. Aly used all purpose flour instead of cake flour and had to make due with an electric mixer (that could be part of the reason why the almond paste was difficult to break up). She mixed for around 5-7 min after adding the butter and eggs in an attempt to make the batter smooth. In her oven the cake was done in around 40 minutes versus 60. For the glaze she used raw sugar instead of granulated white sugar to give it a slight crunch on the top.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup cake flour (I used all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond paste
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup sugar (I used sugar in the raw)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla and whisk together just to combine.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on low speed until it breaks up. This can take up to a minute, depending on how soft and warm it is. Slowly add the sugar, beating until incorporated.

4. Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces. Continue on low speed while adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time, for about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then turn on the mixer to medium speed and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs in a very slow, steady stream and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and again scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn on the mixer again to medium speed and mix for 30 seconds more.

5. Add the citrus zests and mix. Add the flour mixture in two batches, stirring after each addition until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake until the top is golden brown and the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Let the cake cool then add the glaze.

7. To make the glaze, stir together the lemon and orange juices and sugar in a small bowl. Run the tip of a small knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and flip onto a plate. Brush the entire cake with the glaze, and let it set.