One of my recent magazine clippings included a recipe for Almond Brown-Butter Cake. It came from the “You Asked For It” column, which tracks down recipes from restaurants for readers. This particular recipe for Almond Brown-Butter Cake comes from Just a Taste, a wine and tapas bar in Ithaca, New York.
While this is not extremely complicated to make, it also is not as simple as it might first appear. But it is worth the effort, and needs no effort when it comes to icing. Son the Butcher paid this dessert the highest compliment by asking that it go on a holiday menu—reserved only for the very best of desserts.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups slivered almonds, toasted
6 T all-purpose flour
7 large egg whites, at room temp
2 cups confectioners sugar
½ tsp salt
9-inch springform pan
You do have to plan ahead a bit with this recipe. Thirty minutes before you begin cooking:
• break your egg whites into a bowl and let them come to room temperature
• toast your almonds
• brown your butter by cooking for 10-15 minutes over a low heat until golden brown (bottom of pan will be covered in brown specks). Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
Pulse almonds with flour in a food processor until finely ground. Beat together egg whites, confectioners sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until just smooth (but not foamy), then add almond mixture and beat until combined. Add cooled butter in a slow stream while beating, making sure all is combined well. Transfer batter to pan and place in middle position on rack. Bake 40-45 minutes until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on rack for 5 minutes, then remove side and bottom and cool cake completely. Remover parchment and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Could also be served with a crème anglaise, whipped cream, or vanilla or caramel ice cream.