Italian Crumbly Cake from Dolce Italiano by Gine DePalma
Here is my first week's effort, just out of the oven. I meant to bake yesterday, but wouldn't you know it, we had a heat wave. It was 92! That is fairly epic in Santa Barbara and it was enough for me to do the shopping and laze around the garden all day with the fountain running. I didn't even get to cooking dinner until about 9:00. So, this morning I got up and immediately after my caffe latte, I started baking.
The cake came together pretty quickly and easily. I used the almond flour and the "00" flour called for in the recipe. Since it only called for 1/4 cup of almond flour, I now have almost an entire package that I will have to find a way to use, which shouldn't be too hard—especially if I make this cake again.
The batter was a bit stiffer than I am used to and definitely needed a spatula to spread it into the pan. I'm glad the recipe mentioned that or I might have been alarmed by the stiffness of the batter. The recipe called for baking 25 to 30 minutes. After checking it at 25 and 30, I let it go a few more minutes because the toothpick was still coming out wet. I think the top got browned a bit more than it should have, but it does look nice and toasty. Next time I would go ahead and take it out of the oven, I think it would be fine. Also, I used slivered almonds with skins, rather than the blanched almonds specified in the recipe. So, mine has an overall browner look, which I rather like.
The flavor of this cake is exactly as described in the book. It is dense and delicious with a perfect crunch of almonds on top. It would be wonderful to serve with brunch or afternoon tea. My husband thought it would be good served after dinner with ice cream. I like the fact that the steps are simple and the ingredient list not too elaborate. The trick was finding the "00" flour and the almond flour, but once you have that, it's a snap. I definitely plan on making it again. It's a real keeper.