One of my favorite neighborhood spots to hit up on the weekend is b. Patisserie. I love admiring the stacks of kouign-amann and lacquered croissant, and I’m even more pleased that they have a tantalizing gluten-free option on the menu, almond cake. As much as I enjoy grabbing a slice of cake and cup of fourbarrel coffee and parking myself on a seat with a view of the open pastry kitchen, making this a longterm weekly habit would add up fast!
After a bunch of attempts, I finally got their heady almond-scented cake down. It’s a fantastic fusion of a few of my favorite treats — frangipane-meets-chewy-amaretti-meets-cake — each bite of which almost melts on the tongue. I even suspect that the butter could be reduced to four tablespoons if desired, this is one remarkably forgiving recipe. Even better, it requires a minimal ingredient list, making it far easier for you and me to recreate this San Francisco pastry shop treat at home!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8
- Unsalted butter
- Millet flour
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 113 grams (1 cup) almond meal/flour
- 128 grams (2/3 cup) evaporated cane juice or granulated white sugar
- 40 grams (1/3 cup) millet flour
- 2 large eggs PLUS 1 large egg white, divided
- 7 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) almond extract
- 14 grams (about 2 tablespoons) raw sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease sides of a 6″x3″ cake pan with removable bottom with butter, dust with millet flour. Line bottom with circle of parchment paper; set aside.
Place 6 tablespoons butter in a small (2-quart) saucepan; set over medium heat. Bring butter to a boil, stirring occasionally, cook just until butter begins to brown. Immediately remove pan from heat to cool slightly — it will brown further, discard/restart if it burns.
In a medium, heatproof mixing bowl stir together almond meal, evaporated cane juice and millet flour. Make a well in the center of the almond mixture, break the 2 whole eggs into the center, add almond extract. Stir until smooth and slightly lighter in color (about 1 – 2 minutes of stirring by hand). Gradually stir in browned butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time; set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg white to stiff, glossy peaks. Fold egg whites into almond batter. Pour mixture into prepared pan, sprinkle sliced almonds over top. Bake cake for about 45 minutes or until cake is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before removing from pan. Just before serving cake, dust powdered sugar over top. Can be stored loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days (longer in the fridge) — for best taste and texture, serve slices at room temperature.