Friday, March 11, 2011

Almond Torte

It was my sister's birthday a few days ago. She LOVES almond torte. It requires a lot of steps, so I don't make it very often, but I thought I would surprise her for her birthday.

I make my almond tortes in a rectangular shape. At the last job that I had as a pastry chef before my older daughter was born, I made these ALL the time for special orders. I was the pastry chef for a local university that always had special events taking place. People always ordered this for their events.

A lot of people start with a white cake with almond flavoring in it. I prefer to start with a yellow cake. I love yellow cake. I bake a single recipe of yellow cake in a half sheet pan, cut it into three even strips and then layer them with pastry cream. Yum, yum! You can use whatever kind of icing that you like. Since the almonds are toasted with sugar on them, I prefer to use a less sweet icing. I think if you use a really sweet buttercream, the cake is just overwhelmingly sweet. A Swiss buttercream is perfect for this cake in my opinion. I like to buy sliced, blanched almonds for this, but they can be hard to find. I often end up just buying sliced almonds that still have the skin on them. They actually look nice and add a little color to the cake. Just sprinkle some water and sugar on the almonds and toast in the oven. Make sure you check them often though because they go from perfect to burnt very, very quickly. These sugared, toasted almonds are irresistible to me. I cannot stop eating them. I have to get them on the cake quickly once they cool, or I would eat all of them :)

Almonds are not technically nuts but actually drupes. They consist of an outer hull and a hard shell. Inside the shell is the seed or "nut". When an almond is blanched it means that it has been dipped in hot water so that the seedcoat or skin can be easily removed. In the US, almonds are mainly produced in California. They are California's third leading agricultural product.

1 comment:

  1. I cant wait until Lent is over and I can make this! (I gave up sugar for Lent)