Almond and Cardamom Tea Cake

From the wonderful Samin Nosrat’s book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. A treasure trove of fabulous recipes that you will use forever! I have several other almond cake recipes on my blog but my husband just proclaimed this cake as ‘the best cake I have ever made’!! We have been together for 40 years and I bake a lot, so I am extremely pleased to hear that comment. I made this cake in a 9″ springform because I was afraid a 9″ cake pan would not have been deep enough. It also made it easy to invert the cake with the almonds on top, without having to heat the pan on the burner etc. (see last instructions of recipe). If using a springform pan, I suggest either putting it on a sheet pan to bake or cover the bottom of the pan with foil incase any of the butter topping leaks out!

Almond topping
4 T. butter
3 T. sugar
1 scant cup sliced almonds, (3 oz.)
pinch of flaky sea salt
Cake
1 c. (5 1/2 oz.) cake flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt or 1/2 t. fine sea salt
1 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 t. ground cardamom
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. almond paste (9 1/2 oz-**I use Solo Almond Paste that I buy from Amazon-8 oz.)
1 c. (7 oz.) sugar
8 oz. unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set rack in upper third of the oven. Butter and flour a 9″ by 2″ round cake pan, line with parchment.
Make almond topping. In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, cook the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves completely and the butter bubbles and froths. Remove from the heat and stir in the sliced almonds and flaky salt. Pour mixture into the cake pan and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan.
For the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together to evenly combine and remove any lumps. Set aside.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk the eggs, vanilla and cardamom together. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the almond paste to break it up. Add the sugar and process for a minute or two until the mixture is as fine as sand. Add the butter cubes and process until light and fluffy-2 minutes at least. Scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed. With the processor running, add the eggs slowly, mixing well after each addition. (I found it helpful to pour my egg mixture from my measuring cup). When all of the egg mixture is added, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Fold the dry ingredients in in three additions. Avoid overmixing.
Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. The cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan as it’s done. Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and then warm the bottom of the pan directly over the stovetop for a few seconds to encourage the cake to unmold.
Serve on its own or with berry or stone fruit compote or whipped cream.
Cake will keep 4 days at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer!

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