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Extravagant Almond Cake

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound almond paste
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extraxt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound additional almond paste (optional)
Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan or a 9-inch springform pan (note: or 2 loaf pans, for tea cake servings). Combine the almond paste and sugar in a food processor and work until well blended. Add the butter and continue to process until blended; then add the eggs, one at a time, the sour cream, and the flavorings. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Sift flour with baking powder, soda, and salt. Add it to the batter a third at a time, gently stirring in each cupful. For the extravagant touch, break another 1/2 pound or less almond paste into pieces and fold them into the batter. Turn the batter into the baking pan and bake the cake in the middle of the oven until the cake is golden on top and springy to the touch, about 1 hour (Note: I find that I have to bake the cake for about an hour and twenty minutes or more to have a bamboo skewer come out clean.) Remove the cake from the oven and let is stand to cool slightly; then turn it out onto a serving plate. When cool, dust it with sifted powdered sugar. This cake will keep well, wrapped tightly, for several days. Variation: Almond Pear Cake. Peel, seed, and lightly puree about 5 Bartlett pear. Or, drain and lightly puree a can (approx 1 lb) of pears. Heat puree with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat until most of the liquid is reduced and puree resembles a thick applesauce. Should measure about 1 1/2 cups. Increase to 10-inch springform pan. Stir into almond mixture before addition of flour. Increase flour by 1/2-3/4 cup.

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