Friday, April 16, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

Last night I went to bed about midnight, but I couldn't sleep. More accurately, I could sleep, but I couldn't sleep well. I tossed and turned, thinking about the stack of 100ish term papers that need grading this week. When I wasn't tossing and turning, I was grading. In my sleep. Grading in my sleep, with a red pencil and a furrowed brow. None of the papers were any good, in my sleep, that is. Finally, at 3 AM, I decided to get out of bed. I mean if I'm going to be grading term papers in my sleep, I might as well get out of bed and do it wide awake, so I can mark it off the to do list. And speaking of that to do list, here it is days away from Tuesday and I'm finally getting around to posting this Swedish Visiting Cake. (For any newcomers, Tuesday is the appointed day for my weekly baking club, Tuesdays with Dorie.)If it were any less delicious, I would have forgotten about it and forged ahead to my next assignment. But this cake is special. It has a buttery almond and vanilla flavor, and a lovely tight crumbed texture. The top is slightly crispy with sparkly sugar and toasted almonds. It's rather plain, so you may not want it for your soiree dessert, but I promise that you'll adore it with a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon, or a jug of milk in the morning. I happened to have the perfect little cast iron skillet to bake it in, small enough for perfect half batch. This little 6 inch baby was part of the prize package for all the finalists at last year's Cornbread Cook-off in South Pittsburg, TN. (And incidentally, I'm headed there next weekend to participate as a finalist again with my Crunchtastic Chicken Chipotle Cornbread. More to come on that...) It's awful cute, ain't it? Well, have a wonderful weekend, friends. I'll sleep peacefully tonight knowing that the papers are almost graded and the cake has been virtually delivered to you. Sweet Dreams.
Swedish Visiting Cake

Estimated Cost: $2.00
Notes: This one is a bargain, full of inexpensive pantry staples. For variation, you can throw in some chopped fruit, like apples or berries. You can also use the zest of an orange or tangerine, if that's what you've got on hand.
I'm posting a full size portion, to be baked in a 9 inch skillet, or cake pan.
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for preparing pan
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 cup flour1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy oven-proof skillet, a 9-inch round cake pan or even a pie pan. I used a my favorite pan in the whole world — a 9-inch oven proof, heavy skillet.Pour sugar into a medium bowl. Add lemon zest and blend zest into sugar with your fingers until sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Whisk in salt and vanilla and almond extracts.Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in flour. Finally, fold in melted butter. Scrape batter into prepared skillet or pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.Scatter sliced almonds over top and sprinkle with sugar. If using a cake or pie pan, place pan on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and a little crisp on outside; the inside will remain moist.
Next Up:
My New Favorite Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing

14 comments:

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Please tell us again how many Tbsp of butter. The # didn't make it through to the post. Thanks.

Prudy said...

Oh, I'll fix it right away!

gigi said...

Sometimes simple is just right. Congrats on the new contest and best of luck.

dawn said...

i keep seeing this! i must make it then!!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

This one was yummy - I added a streusel top.

Nickki said...

I just loved this cake. I've made it twice this week ;-) Good luck with the cornbread cookoff!

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

orangeheromama said...

Oh wowza. This recipe sounds DIVINE! I will definitely be making it this week and enjoying it with a pot of tea.

Thanks! :D

Michal said...

i stress-sleep like that all the time. it was the worst when i was a missionary. i wished i could count all the contacts i made and discussions i taught in my sleep because i woke up exhausted:)

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Your half-cake is really cute! Thanks for baking along with me this week.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I hate it when I toss and turn.

The cake looks great.

Jen said...

I made this cake on Sunday morning and took it to a family lunch. Everybody loved it. It was so simple and fast. I will definately make it again!

Jen said...

I forgot to add - I baked it in an 8" cake pan on top of a cookie sheet, and left it in for 35 minutes. It was perfect.

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