Almond Torte with Sugared Fruit

June 14, 2008 at 10:59 am (B_minus, Cake, Dessert, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Website / blog)

Katrina picked a an Almond Torte with Sugared Apricots, from the blog Orangette, for our next cooking club recipe. I wasn’t too keen on the apricot idea, as they’re not my favorite fruit, and I’m trying to clean out my kitchen in preparation for my move. So instead of using apricots I decided to use frozen cranberries. Since cranberries and orange are one of my favorite combinations (I’ve been making a cranberry orange smoothie for breakfast every day this week), I also added 1 Tbs. of frozen orange juice concentrate to the batter, and drizzled another Tbs. of concentrate over the top of the cake along with the cranberries, then sprinkled with 1 Tbs. sugar.

Even though the recipe says the batter will be quite thick, I was still surprised by it: it was almost as thick as cookie dough. Besides two eggs there’s no liquid in the recipe. Orangette says to cook the torte for 40 to 50 minutes, and when I checked the cake after 40 minutes it was very brown on top, almost burnt in places. I let it cool as instructed, but when I tried to pull away the sides of the springform pan it wouldn’t budge. It turns out the edges of the cake were very brown, and stuck quite well to the pan. The bottom was brown and crispy as well. I ended up just cutting slices directly out of the pan, without removing the sides. I’m not sure if it was burnt because the orange juice concentrate slipped down the sides and burnt, or my nonstick springform pan was too dark, my oven too hot, or I messed up my timer. In any case, I actually kind of liked the crispy well-browned edges and bottoms of the cake. The inside of the cake, however, was quite boring. The texture was light and fluffy, and it tasted of butter and sugar, but I couldn’t taste the almonds at all, and the orange was barely detectable. Maybe I should have added orange zest and almond extract to the batter as well as the concentrate. Even though this recipe calls for very little flour, the final product seems much more like a cake than a torte. It’s a short, small cake to be sure, but light and fluffy, whereas I think of a torte as more dense. The cranberries were the only highlight. They had become melt-in-your-mouth soft, and released all sorts of sweetness and syrupy juice, just like Orangette said would happen if I had used apricots. I definitely want to make a cranberry orange cake again, but I’ll look for a different recipe. Rating: B-


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