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Strawberry Almond Cakes

Yesterday I made my version of Dorie Greenspan’s Almond Baby Cakes, which she posted to her website last month. It’s a lovely, simple recipe with only a few ingredients, and I’m always interested to try out flourless, naturally gluten-free recipes.

I ground my almonds a couple weeks ago, but they’ve been sitting in my refrigerator since. One thing I have gotten very good at since having babies is doing things in increments. I will take the ingredients out early in the day and do a bit of chopping when I can.

In her recipe, Dorie recommends buttering your muffin tin and lining it with parchment paper, but I’m a little resentful about cutting circles out of parchment paper and often skip that step, with admittedly mixed results. I skipped the buttering and the papering. I also skimped a bit on the butter and added diced strawberries for good measure. I used 6 silicone baking cups that are the equivalent of a jumbo sized muffin tin.

Coming out of the oven, the cakes looked beautiful.

Coming out of the pans, the cakes were less perfect.

As it turns out, the lovely Ms. Greenspan totally knows what she’s doing, and despite the phenomenal nonstick properties of my new silicone baking cups, the bottoms stuck tight. Likewise, what she described as “little tunnels” that might appear on the bottom of the cakes beneath your parchment paper turned out to be massive craters.

Mine turned out very different from the originals. Maybe because I used less butter? Maybe it was the bigger pans? And while the sides did not stick, I think if I had buttered the pans, I might have gotten a darker brown exterior like in the original recipe. In any case, I hope they turn out exactly this way again. The tops are wonderfully crunchy from the almonds, and the bottoms were moist, almost like the middle of a croissant. I definitely recommend adding the berries.

I’ve decided I like the way they look and next time will embrace the craters. In the future, I plan to serve them upside down with whipped cream in their lovely craters. Who wants to join us?

Strawberry Almond Cakes

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan  (I reduced the amount of butter, added strawberries, and used larger baking cups)

Makes 6 individual sized cakes

5 ounces almonds (I used sliced almonds), ground in food processor until mostly ground but still chunky
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350F. If you’re feeling responsible, butter your muffin tin and line it with parchment paper. I used 6 silicone baking cups that are the equivalent of the jumbo sized muffin tins.

Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the ground almonds and mix another minute or so. Squish your butter with a spatula or fork to soften it up, then add to the mixer a little bit at a time. Beat until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until blended. Stir in the strawberries.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Wait a few minutes and take them out of the pans. Allow to cool on a rack. Serve plain, with jam, or with whipped cream.

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