At the Epicurean Classic, Rose Levy Beranbaum is demonstrating several cakes from her not-even-in-stores-yet new cookbook, Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Here's one of the recipes she made at Friday's demo. If you're an RLB fan, you know how exacting her recipes are, with a chart listing weights and volumes of virtually every ingredient--so full disclosure, we haven't totally replicated that here. But if you want to see more, her book comes out in just a week and a few days, so pre-order now!
Golden Lemon Almond Cake
Yields 1 bundt cake
For the cake:
2 oz. blanched sliced almonds (2/3 cup)
8.7 oz. turbinado sugar (1-1/4 cups), divided
3 large eggs, room temperature (5.3 oz; 1/2 cup plus 1/2 Tbs.)
8.5 oz. sour cream (1 cup, divided)
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/8 tsp. pure lemon oil, preferably Boyjian
8.7 oz. bleached all-purpose flour (2 cups plus 3 Tbs., sifted into the cup and leveled off)
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 oz lemon zest (2 Tbs., loosely packed)
8 oz. unsalted butter, at 65 to 75 *F) (16 Tbs.)
For the syrup:
3.5 oz turbinado sugar (1/2 cup)
2.2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/4 cup)
Coat a 10-cup metal fluted tube pan with baking spray with flour. Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350*F.
Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake about 7 minutes or until pale golden. Cool completely and then process until fairly fine. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and process until very fine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon oil just until lightly combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the ground almonds, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two batches, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. An instant read thermometer inserted in the center should read between 200 and 205* F.
Make the syrup shortly before the cake is finished baking.
In a 1 cup or larger microwave proof container or small saucepan, heat the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is almost completely dissolved. Do not allow it to boil. A few undissolved grains form a sparkly crackly finish to the crust. Cover it tightly to prevent evaporation.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a thin skewer, and brush it with about one-third of the syrup. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup and allow it to cool before wrapping airtight.