Since then, I have not been thinking of making this cake until 2 of my baking friends, Lena from Frozen Wings and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours suggested baking this cake for our bake-along.
From my memory of this cake, I prefer this cake to have a moist crumby texture rather than a biscuit-y one and so I've added more water accordingly to Rose's minor instructions and the cake is indeed very lovely.
Here's the recipe from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
(with my minor modifications in blue)
(serves 10 – 12)
42g (1/2 cup) blanched sliced almonds (I use almond meal)
150g (3/4 cup) superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
255g (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter *see my notes
74g (from about 4 large eggs) egg yolks, at room temperature
15g (1 tablespoon) kirsch, dark rum, or water
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Bake almonds for 7 minutes or until pale gold. Cool completely then place in a food processor and process the almonds with 1/4 cup of the sugar until fairly fine but not powder fine.
(By using almond meal, I skipped this step of processing almond and replaced this amount of sugar with icing sugar. I mixed the toasted almond meal and icing sugar thoroughly when the toasted almond meal was completely cooled.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with flat beater, mix the remaining sugar, salt and the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the almond mixture, water, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 20 seconds until evenly incorporated. Add the flour in four parts, beating on the lowest speed for about 15 seconds and turning off the mixer between additions.
Use a spatula to finish mixing in any flour that remains unincorporated. (Instead of using the mixer, I prefer to fold the flour using the spatula to avoid over-mixing.)
Scrape the batter into a greased and lightly floured fluted tart pan with removable bottom (size: 9 1/2 inch by 1 3/8 inch).
With the beaten egg, brush the top of the cake well, using a little less than 1 tablespoon.
Use the tines of a fork to make a crosshatch pattern on top. The fork lines help prevent the batter from puffing up unevenly.
Bake the cake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a deep golden brown and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Cool completely
* My notes:
The butter that I used (Lurpak) has a 82% fat content.
Accordingly to book, butter that is 80% fat contains 2 tbsp more water than 86% fat butter which result in slightly moister crumb. For this reason, I've added 6 tsp water for the 82% fat butter used in order to achieve a moist version of this cake.
Instead 9 1/2 inch suggested by Rose, I've used 19 cm by 2 cm tart pan and made the tart with 60% of the ingredients in this recipe.