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      RECIPE TITLE "Danish Holiday Almond Cake" Recipes from The New Making of a Cook: The Art, Techniques, and Science of Good Cooking Copyright © 1997 by Madeleine Kamman.

    yieldsMakes 3 dozen squares for petits fours, or 1 round 10-inch cake with 18 to 24 servingsdifficultymoderate

    This cake, a cousin to the French pain de gjnes, is truly delicious and a treat to have once in a while. Please respect scrupulously the egg sizes given here. The cake is so delicious by itself that any icing seems to damage rather than enhance its flavor. For a recipe of the same cake made with ground pistachios, see my book, Madeleine Kammans Savoie. To make petits fours, bake the cake in a 9 x 9 x 2-inch square cake pan.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon unsifted cake flour for the cake pan
    Large pinch of salt
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 ounces almond paste (not marzipan), finely grated
    2 teaspoons orange flower water or 1 tablespoon kirsch
    5 medium-size eggs
    1 cup sifted cake flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
    Confectioners' sugar

      RECIPE METHOD

    Preheat the oven to 3250F. Butter the cake pan with the 1 tablespoon of butter and dust it with the single tablespoon of cake flour. Set the pan upside down and slam it once to remove all traces of excess flour.

    In a large bowl, cream the remaining cup of butter until white, then add the sugar and almond paste together and beat until fluffy and white again, 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Turning the speed down to low, add the orange flower water, then 1 egg at a time. Beat again on medium-high speed after each addition until the batter returns to white foaminess. Finally, resift the cake flour mixed with the baking powder (if used) directly over the batter and fold into the batter. Turn into the prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done whenit is golden brown and a metal skewer inserted into its center comes out dry and feeling hot when applied to the top of the hand.

    Unmold immediately onto a rack and let cool completely before cutting. Trim off the edges if you desire petits fours and cut into as many 1 inch squares as you can manage. Dust with confectioners' sugar. If you prefer bringing the round cake to the table whole, put a decorative doily on it and dust with confectioners' sugar, then lift off the doily; its decorative pattern will be reproduced on the cake by the sugar.

    Please do not freeze.


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