Hello readers, it's been a while. Longer than I realized, in fact, and part of the reason for that is that I'm on a serious diet.
After several months of illness, and being stuck at the same weight for more than a year, I decided to do something to lose the rest of my baby weight.
After all, my son is nearly 2 years old. It was time. But that also means that I'm less likely to be baking, and sampling my baking as I go along. The good news for you, is that I have a backlog of posts I've been meaning to get to for a long time.
My family and friends have expressed their concern that I don't stop feeding them my experiments, and I won't. I just won't be baking butter-cream-egg-yolk concoctions every week like I used to. Every now and then, I'll substitute fat-free vanilla yogurt for the butter and oil content. I'm learning as I go along, and I'll share what I learn with you, dear reader. Not to fret, I'm only now learning how to exercise portion control, and soon enough I'll be whizzing up meringues and creaming sugar.
In the meantime, though, I wanted to tell you about these fantastic tea cakes I made a while back by way of Dorie Greenspan, from her book Paris Sweets. But you can also find the recipe here. Frankly I think my cakes turned out much prettier than the ones on the Food Network site, but you be the judge of that.
These were a huge hit among everyone who sampled them. The blanched almonds kept the cakes unexpectedly moist and dense, but the real showstopper was the chocolate ganache. I ended up with double as much ganache as I needed, and froze the rest of it. But these cakes would also freeze well in an airtight container, so if you wind up with more than you anticipated, you can freeze them and take them out later.
Substitutions: None. When you're working with a recipe from someone like Dorie Greenspan, you want to follow her expertise. The recipe calls for you to dip the cakes in ganache, but in the book Dorie also suggests piping a rosette on top, which is what I decided to do.
Would I make this again? Indeed, I would. And I might even make it sooner rather than later, because the small size of each cake makes it a lot more realistic to fit into my diet. Sure, the amount of butter doesn't help, but the egg whites must go a long way, right? In any case, these would make a lovely, chic addition to any ladies' luncheon, tony tea party, or sweet sixteen. Consider making these the next time you're having company over. If you're like me and always have ground almonds on hand, they're a whiz to whip up. And undeniably sophisticated.
Grade: Five stars out of five. Because this recipe floored me when I was expecting something more like a mini chocolate chip muffin. Instead, I was surprised to get a mouthful of a dense, moist cake highlighted with the complex union of almond and chocolate. Have one with a coffee. Bliss.