Thursday, September 24, 2020

Moelleux of Fruits (Almond Cake)


Take a look at this cake. It's so versatile. It was SO GOOD and SO EASY to put together. I was shocked at how good it was! Make it with whatever fruits you have in your refrigerator - the original recipe called for stone/summer fruits but I used the figs from our backyard. 

Just a disclaimer: figs release lots of syrupy juices. Do not crowd them. I did that with a tart and it looked gorgeous before baking ... but it came out a wet mess! I can't wait to try this with pears, peaches, nectarines, a handful of berries, etc. 

Feel free to make adjustments to the almond meal and flours. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour but I ran out of almond meal ... and then I ran out of all-purpose flour ... so I made do with that I had. But the ratio was fantastic. The sugar on top created a nice caramelization on the top, esp at the edges of the cake.

Moelleux of Fruits (Almond Cake)
Adapted from David Lebovitz

6 figs (or other fruits; enough to half and slice into 3/4-1" thick wedges)
1/4 cup almond meal (I ground my own almonds - 1 cup almonds with 1 Tbsp sugar)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp almond extract)
1 Tbsp coarse granulated brown sugar, such as tubinado sugar (or in my case, three packages of Sugar in the Raw which I took from a coffee shop)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan with butter or non-stick spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the different flours, baking powder and granulated sugar with a silicon spatula. Add the room temperature butter and mix it in with the spatula until it's broken up into little pieces and thoroughly mixed - it should look shaggy and kind of like wet sand with small bunched chunks in it. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract. It's fine if there are small pieces of butter visible.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with the silicon spatula. Arrange the fruit prettily on top of the cake - if using stone fruits or pears, place the wedges of fruit on their sides in concentric circles, snugly against each other. Press them gently into the batter, about 1/4 inch down. Avoid putting the fruits right up against the sides of the pan, to leave some room for the batter to rise.

Sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the top and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, approx 1 hour. Start checking around the 45 minute parm. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack. If any fruit juices have bubbled up and stuck to the sides of the pan, run a knife around the outside of the cake, which will help it release later.

After 15 minutes, then remove the springform portion while the cake is still warm.

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