I haven't been doing as much baking this season as I normally do. However, I was reading the Amateur Gourmet today and he mentioned his "favorite dessert recipe of all time" so I knew that I had to make this RIGHT AWAY.
My excuse is that I signed up to bring "other" to the big monkey's holiday party tomorrow at school :) I'm making 2, so if I taste it and it's way too "sophisticated" for the kids (or just tastes way too good) then I'll keep both for the house or turn the second one in to a gift for someone.
On a related note, I am giving the little monkey's teacher wine for her gift (aside from chipping in for the class gift). She says she like wine and she has to put up with my child, so that's OK, right?
From Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (measured after sifting)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
7-ounce tube almond paste, cut into small pieces
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
Confectioner's sugar, or sifting over cake
Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Mix together the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Sift the flour and salt in another bowl.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the almond paste, a little at a tie, at medium speed, and beat for 8 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and mix until incorporated. It will look curdled, don't worry. Blend in the almond extract and the sour cream mixture. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake about 1 hour (note: mine took about 20 minutes longer). It is done when you press the top and it returns its shape, and also shrinks from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool in the pan. When ready to serve, sift confectioner's sugar over the top.
Note: Amanda Hesser says in her book that this cake always sinks.
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