Musing with Max

Musing with Max

May 1, 2012


So we Frank finally dug out the invasive and dreaded forstyhia which was threatening to take over the entire side where the flower bed was, will, used to be
and it's a little bit jarring to see the empty space of dirt but at the same time exciting for phase two and the next (and fourth) incarnation of this very ornery flower bed. This means I spent all of Monday picking up all that had been dug out (this is the after pic) with which I filled seven bags, which also means I was covered in dirt from head to toe, filthy fingernails despite my heavy duty gloves, damp sweaty hair just like the rest of me which made me ooze a not too pleasant smell and explains why I backed up about ten paces when my neighbor from across the street came over to see what I was doing and then looked over
and said "wow, your yard looks beautiful" which made me very happy since she has the prettiest property on the block. So I decided we needed to celebrate and made Frank this cake he's been bugging me about for weeks.

Cornmeal-Almond Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone adapted from Food and Wine

  1. 3 cups sliced blanched almonds (about 10 ounces)
  2. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  9. Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  11. 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  1. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  2. 1/2 cup fresh mascarpone cheese
  3. 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  4. 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  1. MAKE THE CAKE Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Spread the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let cool completely, then transfer the almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground but not pasty.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the bowl and beat the batter until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. With a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter, then the cornmeal and the ground almonds.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, still in the pan, and let cool to room temperature.
  1. MAKE THE TOPPING In a large stainless steel bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and whip until barely firm peaks form.
  2. Run a thin knife around the side of the cake pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Place a plate on top of the cake and turn the cake right side up. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the mascarpone cream and strawberries.
Make Ahead The cake can be kept at room temperature overnight.

I made the topping but forgot to take a picture, oops. and didn't use strawberries.

Meanwhile, Max was watching all of this from his perch on the window seat
 and was so exhausted by the proceedings that he decided to nap

because he never does that.

1 comment:

  1. What a big garden Amelia!
    Me encantarĂ­a tener un rinconcito como el de Max ;)