Dave and I got engaged in Stockholm, sitting on a park bench and overlooking the water of Gamla Stan. It was a biting cold October afternoon in Sweden, so as soon as I said yes, we stopped at a café for fresh cinnamon buns and coffee. This particular almond cake is best served right out of the fridge. Every time I take a bite, it brings me back to eating pastries in a cozy coffee shop on a cold Swedish day.
There are a lot of steps to this recipe and honestly, working with egg whites (and making a custard) can feel really intimidating. But I’ve found that this particular recipe is very forgiving. The first time I made it, I overheated the egg yolks and they almost curdled, but I was able to get them back to a proper state by taking the custard off the heat and straining it through a sieve to get rid of the ‘omelette-y’ bits. As for the whites, the almond flour gives them a lot of body, so there is a lower risk of the whites deflating during the baking process.
This recipe made a bit too much custard for the size of cake I baked, but you can just as easily drizzle the custard atop off the cake throughout the week. There is no such thing as too much custard, and I stand by that.
Swedish Almond Cake
This gluten-free cake is not the easiest to make, but it is the perfect cake for dark autumn nights, or those chilly days right before the heat of the summer sets in.
- 6 egg whites
- 200 g sugar
- 200 g almond flour
- 2 tbsp gluten-free flour (I used a blend of rice flour and tapioca flour, with a touch of xanthan gum)
- 6 egg yolks
- 75 g sugar (used powdered if possible)
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 2.5 tsp cornstarch (substitute with potato starch if needed)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 150 g softened butter
Make the custard
Whisk together the cream and sugar in a pan. Cook over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer
Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract in a large metal bowl
Pour a third of the whipped cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Once combined, add the rest of the cream mixture in thirds. Transfer back the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has thickened. This may take up to five minutes. Be careful to not let the eggs curdle or begin to form chunks. To make that happen, you may need to cook the egg mixture on the lowest heat.
Transfer the custard back to a mixing bowl, cover with a plastic wrap or parchment paper and place into the fridge to cool.
Make the cake
Pre-heat the oven to 350℉
Grease and flour a 8" round springform pan.
Using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or a whisk if you're feeling ambitious, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add half of the sugar over the egg whites and beat to combine.
Whisk in one half of the almond flour. Do not worry if the egg whites deflate a bit.
With a spatula, fold in the remaining sugar, almond flour, and gluten-free flour. Pour the batter into the springform pans and for 25 minutes. The cake will be ready when the top has turned a golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost the cake
Take the cooled custard out of the fridge and beat together the softened butter with the custard and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. If it seems too soft, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes then try beating it again.
Assemble the cake. Enjoy the leftover custard slathered on the cake slices.
Recipe inspiration courtesy of Food52.
Also published on Medium.