by Heather Harris Brady
Since we’re heading into a big party time of year with graduations and weddings, I thought I’d post something special. These petit fours are big on WOW factor. These tiny cakes are not a recipe to try when you’re feeling rushed, however! Pick a time when you’re feeling extra zen.
We’ll do the cake first, then cover filling and frosting in the next post. You can do this cake ahead of time, freeze it, then finish things up at a later date if that works better for you. This recipe is from Paula Peck’s Art of Fine Baking, and it makes a lovely fine-grained cake that is perfect for stacking. Seasoned bakers will recognize this method as being the same as a classic genoise.
Almond Butter Sponge, Makes one half-sheet
- ¾ c. sifted flour
- ¼ c. butter, melted and clarified
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ t. vanilla
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 t. grated lemon rind
- ¼ c. almond paste
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease half-sheet pan and line it with parchment.
Combine the whole eggs, one egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and lemon rind in the top of a double boiler. Warm gently and carefully to lukewarm.
In a separate bowl cream the almond paste with the remaining egg yolk. I found it easiest to smear the paste out with a spoon and then cream them together. Set this aside.
When the egg mixture feels warm, start to beat it with a hand mixer. Beat at high speed for about five minutes. It will triple in bulk and look like whipped cream.
Pour the almond paste mixture over the top and sprinkle with the flour.
Fold them in, drizzling the butter as you go. Don’t overmix, just fold until there aren’t any streaks of flour.
Spread the batter evenly in the pan without pressing it too much.
Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the cake from the pan and cool on a rack.