Saturday, August 27, 2011
an ispahan of sorts.
The inspiration struck when I found a forlorn looking can of lychees and a pretty much forgotten bottle of rose extract (not bought by me). Coincidentally, I also wanted to try out a Swedish Visiting Cake by Dorie, which is supposed to taste reminiscent of almond paste, even though there are no ground almonds! Since almond and floral flavours go well together, I decided to merge the cake, lychees and make a rose bavarian cream. It's almost like the real macaron in terms of ingredients, just without the raspberries and the cake replacing the macaron shell.
I loved the cake! It really did taste like dense chewy almond paste because there was almond extract in it. It was also crunchy around the edges, moist on the inside.... mmm...
I didn't love the rose bavarian cream though. I couldn't manage to find a proper recipe from a book so I searched online for one. In the end, I did manage to come across one that I thought would be quite reliable but unfortunately, it wasn't. The texture didn't sit too well with me but it accomplished its mission of conveying the rose component of this little assembled piece.
I'm completely sold on the rose-lychee combination! Better than chocolate and banana, methinks! And I really hope that you all will give this cake a shot- another case where simple is best.
Swedish Visiting Cake
makes a 9 inch cake
adapted from here
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup plain flour
1 stick butter, melted
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a seasoned 9 inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet (for a thicker crust), a 9 inch cake pan or even a pie pan.
Pour the sugar in a medium bowl, add the zest rub it in the sugar using your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and extracts. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Finally, fold in the melted butter.
Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds on top and sprinkle with a little sugar. If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and a little crisp on the outside while moist on the inside. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warmed or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.