16-33: Crispy Almond Cake

I made 16-33: Crispy Almond Cake last September to pair with 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake as a breakfast treat for my work colleagues. This one was the less fancy of the two, but still went extremely well with some coffee on a Wednesday morning.

This title card blurb mentions that versions of this almond cake can be found all over the United States–Google doesn’t seem to want to confirm that claim for me. Searching almond cake results in several iterations of a Spanish flourless almond cake influenced by the Jewish tradition of Passover. Interesting, but none of them look like this recipe.

A search for almond tart (see 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake for my argument that these two dishes are tarts, not cakes as Simply Delicious claims) comes much closer–here’s a very similar version (with video!) from Martha Stewart herself.

I didn’t realize until right now that I should have done a little whipped cream/strawberry garnish on this one to match the Maraschino cherry/glaze on 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake. Plain is okay too, but garnish would have been fun.

Ingredients. My almonds aren’t peeled, but I went to (no joke) 4-5 stores looking for peeled & sliced almonds, and they just. did. not. exist. I finally gave up at Walmart (the final store we went to, after all other options had been exhausted) and went with what you see above.

I made the executive decision in 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake to make 3 smaller tarts instead of one big “cake”, which I carried through to this recipe as well. The reasoning for this was that I wanted to create more smaller-sized pieces instead of a few large slices of each.

The Silpats on the sheet pans serve to stabilize the small tart pans and keep them from sliding around while pulling them in and out of the oven. They also help with cleanup in case of spillover.

Using the food processor to make the crust dough.

The food processor makes quick work of the dough–now it gets wrapped in plastic and chilled in the fridge. Chilling the dough before rolling it out keeps the butter more solidified, which will result in flakier pastry layers when it bakes.

Melting butter in a big saucepan (instead of my usual butter melter) since I’ll be tossing the almonds in soon.

Still seems too big, but it’s nice to have room to work and stir without worrying about spilling over the sides.

Looking much more syrupy now that it’s cooked down for a few minutes.

I pressed the dough into each of the tart pans (going a bit thick around the outsides, but that will help with structural integrity) and poured in the almond filling.

After baking. There was definitely a bit of spillage, but overall they look okay. I think they could use a bit more color, so I popped them back in for a few more minutes.

After a few more minutes in the oven, they look nice and crispy on top–hence the name. These remind me a lot of the pecan pies that were always on the Thanksgiving table when I was a kid and we would spend the holiday with family in Georgia (southern USA).

This dish along with 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake (pre-garnish & glaze) on the cooling rack.

And after garnish & glaze. I kept them whole for now and wrapped them up for transport to the office in the morning.

My avant garde presentation once I got to work. Cutting them up into mini tart slices were perfect for each person to sample a piece of each with their morning coffee/tea/whatever. I think 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake was my favorite by just a hair (I’m a sucker for Maraschino cherries), but these were delicious as well.

Grade: A