Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Swedish Visiting Cake



This is one of those don't judge a book by its cover moments.  Swedish Visiting Cake doesn't look like much but it has lots of almond flavor, a tender moist crumb, and a yummy bit of crunch from sliced almonds and turbinado sugar.  An added bonus, it's a cinch to make.  The toughest thing is zesting the lemon, but you can do that while your melted butter is cooling.  I intended to warm some raspberry jam to drizzle on the wedges but sadly I didn't have any.  It really is a lovely cake.  I hope you give it a try and if you do please let me know what you think.  FYI... Jalen one of my twin boys loved it so much he hid the last two pieces AND immediately requested it again! 




Swedish Visiting Cake (slightly adapted from In the Kitchen & On the Road with Dorie)
Serves 8 to 10

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
1 tablespoon turbinado {or any coarse} sugar for sprinkling on top

jam of your choice, warmed to drizzle on individual wedges

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan. (I used two skillets.  One 6 inch & one for 4 inch, which is why my slices look a little thin. They were from the smaller skillet.)

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl.  Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended.  Whisk in the salt and the extracts.  Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.  Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar (I used turbinado sugar for a little added crunch).  If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist.  Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it.  You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate. (Drizzle warmed jam on wedges.)
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