Last week, the Food Librarian baked a Swedish Visiting Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. The cake had everything I was looking for to bake. Tea cake? Check! Almonds? Check! Easy to make? Check check!
This cake was unbelievably easy to make. It's the easiest made from scratch cake I've ever baked. And it comes out so simple and beautiful. I love the almond slices that decorate the top. The cake requires no mixer: just a spatula, a bowl and a whisk. It took me less than ten minutes to put this cake together and 25 minutes to bake. It was so simple that I actually went ahead and made two of them!
And the best part of all? It was delicious! If you like almonds and if you like tea cakes, you'll love this cake. It was a big hit. Everyone I shared with this wanted to take some home.
The recipe is supposed to be made in a cast iron skillet, but I don't have one, so I used a springform cake pan, which also made it a lot easier to remove from the pan. Also, the first time I sprinkled the cake with granulated sugar like the recipe said, but I didn't really like how it looked. So the second time, I used raw sugar instead. Finally, I left out the lemon zest. It saved me time and I don't really like the citrus taste in my desserts.
Swedish Visiting Cake (From Dorie Greenspan's book. Recipe found on The Dog Eat Crumbs)
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I left this out)
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)
Raw sugar for sprinkling
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.
2. 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. (I left out the zest)
3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts.
4. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.
5. 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. (The recipe says to sprinkle granulated sugar. I chose raw sugar)
6. 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