Tuesday, January 1, 2008


12 servings

For many years (photo above 1992, photo at left 2008) this has been Christopher’s choice for a birthday cake. This recipe is adapted from the original New York Times Cookbook.

1 cup butter
1 cup [4.05 oz] sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unpeeled almonds, grated [I use about 1 3/4c whole almonds]
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup raspberry jam [I use about twice as much and prefer jam with seeds*]
1/2 egg white, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar [I omit]

1. Prepare nine-inch springform pan: per Christopher's suggestion, I put a layer of parchment paper on the bottom of the buttered pan, then butter the parchment paper..

2. Put the almonds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and chop finely but not to powder, nuts should still have some texture.

3. Add the butter and the flour to the nuts and process until the butter is crumbled into mixture. (Note: NY Times recipe chops butter into the flour, then  adds grated nuts. I find doing nuts first works well and saves another dirty bowl.)

4. Add the sugar, cloves, cinnamon and egg yolks to the flour mixture and mix dough until smooth arid well blended.

5.  ** SEE TECHNIQUE UPDATE BELOW Turn two-thirds of the dough into the prepared cake pan.(NYT recipe uses ungreased pan.). Press dough over the bottom and halfway up the sides. Spread with jam.

6. "Roll egg-sized balls of the remaining dough between the palms to make long rolls about one-third to one-half inch in diameter arid about eight inches long.  [I divide dough into 10ths  and  make a total of 10 rolls 8-9" long.] Place the rolls on a baking sheet and chill until firm."

Preheat oven to moderate (325° F).

7. Using a spatula, lift the rolls and arrange lattice-style over the jam. Fasten to the dough around the rim of the pan [filling in any voids between strips with extra dough] by pressing lightly.

8. Brush with egg white and bake on the lower shelf of the oven about one hour and fifteen minutes.

 9. Set the pan on a rack and partly cool the cake before removing, slide knife around ege first, the rim of the pan. The NYT recipe suggests sprinkling the cake with confectioners sugar and, if desired, slivered almonds I don’t sprinkle either.

* Choose the jam/preserves carefully.  Seed and color contribute to the appeal of the tort.  Don't use raspberry "fruit spreads" which tend to be duller in color and lack the texture of a good jam.

Photo at left 2004. Guess Christopher's age from the candle arrangement..

**December 2023 TECHNIQUE UPDATE: After many years of making this I have settled on this technique: 
5. From the dough in the mixing bowl, form 12 balls at 21g each. Roll these on a silicon cutting board into ~10 inch long rolls. 
6. Turn the remaining dough into the prepared cake pan. Press dough over the bottom and spread with jam to 1/4" of edges. 

Instead of doing dough "up the sides", after I have made a lattice, I use the remaining dough scraps to fill in around the edges.

Reviewed 5/11/17
Revised 1/5/2024

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