This cake is inspired by a recipe that originated in Brittany, France. Simply called gateau Breton - Brittany cake - it's like a super-ultra-rich version of pound cake. Quickly mixed together by hand in a single bowl, it makes the most dense, luxurious cake.
We've taken the same cake and infused it with citrus zests and warm fall spices. Walnuts and hazelnuts work as well as the almonds, if you prefer.
To make toasted, ground nuts, arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Let them cool completely, then grind them in a food processor until finely ground, but not reduced to a paste.
CITRUS-SPICE ALMOND BUTTER TORTE
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 6 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Zest of 1/2 orange Zest of 1/2 lemon 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup toasted and finely ground almonds 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured) 2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar Whole almonds, to garnish
Heat the oven to 325. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray, then line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and salt. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and both zests. Whisk until smooth, pale and slightly thickened. Gently whisk in the melted butter, then stir in the ground almonds. Gently fold in the flour, just until combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle raw sugar over the top, then decorate with whole almonds. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted at center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and set on a wire rack to finish cooling.