Thursday, February 26, 2009

Almond Honey Pound Cake

1/4 cup whole natural almonds, crushed to small bits and dust, divided
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon almond extract
12 tablespoons unsalted, sweet butter, softened
4 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
Granulated brown sugar
Lavender Glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Use an 8-inch loaf pan or bundt pan. Butter the baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Sprinkle the buttered baking pan with some of the almond dust to lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan.

In a small bowl, mix together cake flour and baking powder, set aside.

In a food processor, break the almond paste into small pieces. Add sugar, salt, and almond extract; mix until the batter is no longer lumpy. NOTE: It will have a grainy appearance.

In an electric mixer with a large bowl on a low to medium speed, add the butter and honey (1 tablespoon at a time). Stop to scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl to insure that all is mixed together. One at a time, add the eggs and heavy cream, beating until combined. Add the almond paste/flour mixture (increasing the speed), and mix until the batter is completely smooth.

Place the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle top of the batter with more crushed almond bits and some granulated brown sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden. Test the center of the cake with an inserted wood toothpick. When removed toothpick is clean of batter; remove cake from oven. Cool on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

While cake is cooling, prepare the Lavender Glaze.

Lavender Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon edible culinary Lavender buds/flowers

In a small saucepan over a medium-low heat, mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, and lavender. Bring just to a boil; remove from stove. Using a small strainer, strain lavender buds/flowers out of the glaze; discarding them

Drizzle the warm Lavender Glaze over the top of the cooled cake. Decorate and serve.


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