Jul 6, 2013

All-crumble almond cake

I get nervous when I don't bake anything for too long, usually two days.
The other day, I was thinking all day long I didn't need to make/bake anything. Fresh, beautiful fruit on the kitchen table, on the coffee table, in the fridge, who needs cakes? But something was bothering me all day. Maybe a cold oven, maybe kids, maybe men...

Every time I get restless and I can't watch "Sex and the City" because there are person(s) around that laugh in the wrong places or laugh harder than me in the right ones, I open my lop top and loose myself in the recipe world...till I find something to make me forget about my...restlessness.

Sometimes when I find something, I make it right afterwards. Even at 7 pm. I have a rule of not eating anything after 8 pm, but the thought of having a piece of this cake with cappuccino for breakfast the next morning was good enough.

The recipe and the cake are fantastic. The list of ingredients is very basic (no baking powder) and short. No need to take my mixer out and make noise. The cake is dry, looks harder than it is. Brittle like crumble. Simple, rustic with a good crunch from the chopped almonds, and a little flavor of vanilla and lemon. It went great with my morning cappuccino and with a couple of strawberries later in the day. Nice.

Torta sbrisolana is a specialty of Lombardia region in Italy.
Recipe adapted from Corriere della Sera
time: 15 min preparation + 55 min baking

  • 200 g (7 oz) whole almonds, chopped coarsely
  • 400 g (2 2/3 cups) flour
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 200 g (13 Tablespoons) almost cold butter (I took mine out of the fridge 20 minutes before), diced
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
powder sugar for finishing

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/355F (fan forced function). Butter (extra butter) and line with parchment paper a 26 cm (11 inch) round baking form (for tarts).
  2. In a large bowl, throw in all the ingredients together and, using your hands, try to cover most of them with grease. Work about 1-2 minutes and then drop the crumbs and loose ingredients onto the prepared baking form. 
  3. Place it in the hot oven for about 55 minutes, till deep in color. Take it out, let it cool for 15 minutes or so. Sift little bit of powder sugar on top. Buon appetito!

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