You don’t have to be kosher or celebrating Passover this week to have reason for trying recipes that could compose a traditional Jewish Seder.
Almonds, both ground as meal and slivered and toasted for garnish, are the main ingredient in several flourless, kosher desserts touted by food writers over the past week. Almonds, of course, also are a common ingredient in gluten-free desserts, which contain no wheat flour.
Cookbook author Pati Jinich describes the taste and texture of this cake “like a fluffy, smooth, tasty piece of marzipan that has turned into a cake to become a bigger, lighter and a longer lasting version of itself.” The combination of almonds and apricots gives this a particularly European flavor, too. Serve it as dessert topped with whipped cream or for breakfast with berries.
Flourless Almond and Port Cake
2 cups slivered almonds
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1⁄2 cup butter or shortening, at room temperature
1 tablespoon port (optional; may substitute a sweet kosher-for-Passover wine)
1⁄4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Whipped cream (optional)
Grease a round 9- to 10-inch springform pan; cover bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place the slivered almonds and sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Crack the eggs on top of mixture. Stir in the vanilla and port. Drop in the butter or shortening in chunks; process until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place on a rack in middle of preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Top will be nicely tanned, cake will feel springy to the touch and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted in cake. Note: It is a thin cake.
Remove cake from oven and let cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run tip of a knife around edges of pan; release and remove sides of pan. Place a platter over cake and carefully invert cake onto platter. Remove pan’s bottom and parchment paper. Invert cake again onto another platter to have top of cake right-side up.
Mix the apricot preserves with the lime juice in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and simmer until fully dissolved and liquid for 2 to 3 minutes. With a brush, spread apricot glaze on outer circumference of cake, a band about 1 to 2 inches wide. You also can add some in center. Sprinkle glazed area with the toasted, sliced almonds. Serve with the whipped cream on the side or on top of cake.
Makes 12 to 15 servings.