Good afternoon, guys!
After having Nao Sushi with the family in Burnaby on Saturday, we went to Fondway Cafe for some dessert and drinks. The sushi we enjoyed before this was so yummy that I couldn’t even pause to take pictures! We ordered six rolls for four people, and lunch boxes and soup for the other four. Since it was my last time having sushi before six months in the sushi-deprived province of Ontario, I STUFFED myself on way too many pieces to count. Worth it – sushi for life.
Anyways, Fondway Cafe is a cute place hidden in Burnaby. It’s fairly new and specializes in Taiwanese-influenced coffee drinks and “Westernized” Asian desserts. Or, perhaps “Asianized” Western classics.
Dad had the honey lemon coffee, and Uncle Charles enjoyed a lychee coffee, their specialty. I love how the coffees were served – all the layers were separated for some reason. I have no clue how they did this, but it sure looked neat!
I wanted to try an almond butter croissant, or maybe a chocolate almond croissant (I know, I have a problem). But instead, we settled on their berry almond tart, which I found to be just average.
This home-baked almond cake with berries and stone fruit on top, though, knocks that one completely out of the park. With a moist crumb, a mild nutty flavour and richness from almonds and some butter, this fruity almond cake is perfect for dessert with a mug of coffee or hot chocolate.
I used spelt flour, but you can easily replace that with all-purpose or gluten-free flour with the same results. Any fruit would work beautifully on top – I had some blackberries in the fridge and peaches in the freezer, so those two lucky fruit made it onto the top of my cake. 🙂 I think a raspberry and white chocolate version would be delicious, as would one with blueberries in the summer. Caramelized apples? Sliced banana and nuts? Chopped cherries? Yes, yes, and yes.
Did I mention how EASY this is to make? Essentially, all you have to do is toss a bunch of ingredients into a KitchenAid mixer and watch the magic happen. But if you aren’t as lucky as I was to have a KitchenAid at your fingertips (I don’t anymore, now that I’m back in Waterloo!), a big bowl and a handheld electric whisk works just as well.
We brought this to a family gathering, and even though we sliced it into twenty-four teeny slivers, each one was devoured. While playing cards with my dad’s coworker’s children, I was called to the adult table in the middle of a came of Mao (have you guys played that game?! Most. Addictive. Card. Game. Ever.) to explain what was in the cake! The adults just couldn’t figure out what made it have that unique nutty flavour and soft, melt-in-your mouth texture.
The secret? Almond meal! Get your hands on some and get those hands dirty… make this cake. 🙂
Mom is probably the biggest fan of this baby, so I named it after her 😉 Behold, the recipe for Mom’s Favourite Almond Cake – perfect for parties, get-togethers, or maybe a one-person-cake-eating celebration.
Mom’s Favourite Almond Cake
- 175 g (3/4 cup) softened butter
- 175 g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 175 g (1 ¼ cups) spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Big handful of blackberries, raspberries, cherries, or blueberries
- Sliced peach or nectarine (I used frozen peaches that I defrosted in the microwave)
- 2 tbsp sugar for sprinkling (OPTIONAL)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan (we used coconut oil) or line with parchment paper. Using a springform pan works very well, we found!
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and very fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Add the ground almonds, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour and stir gently. The mixture will be very stiff. That’s perfect!
- Spread the cake batter into the cake pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula or spoon.
- Decorate with fruit and press the fruit into the cake. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
- Bake for one hour, or until a knife comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before placing it onto a cooling rack.
- Cut into slices before serving and enjoy! Best eaten the day baked.
Check out how perfect the crispy crust is! I regret not
doubling tripling the recipe – I could’ve eaten much, much more and wish I stashed some in the freezer. 🙂
On a totally different note, I made these nutty, flourless muffins before flying to Waterloo. They’re all hidden in the freezer because, well, I hoard muffins. Especially ones made with all my favourite ingredients: nut butter, bananas, cinnamon and oats. These muffins taste just like banana bread, minus the effort – they were made in less than ten minutes in Mom’s Vita-Mix. Which is why I had to make them back home in BC and carry them in my backpack to Waterloo. Gosh, having a blender is such a blessing.
This recipe is almost (just wrote almond) too good to be true. Next time, I’m adding chocolate chips and chopped nuts! Please give this one a try – you won’t regret having a big batch of healthy, energizing muffins at your fingertips. So let those bananas rot and get baking!
PS: if you aren’t a fan of almond butter/almond meal, or simply don’t have them – check out some of my other banana recipes by clicking on the links below:
- Delicious baked banana oatmeal
- Breakfast banana frittata
- Favourite banana muffins (though these are a top contender for that spot!)
- Blender banana pancakes
- Marbled chocolate banana cake
- Chocolate chip banana cake
- Banana spelt pancakes
- Chocolate banana cake squares
- Banana chocolate chip blondies
- Greek yogurt banana bread
- Banana cheesecake pancakes
Flourless Banana Bread Muffins
- 1/2 cup (128g) almond butter
- 4 overripe medium or large bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup rolled or quick oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour or another 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying 12 cavities with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week – if they last that long!
That’s it for today! Today was my first day of classes and I have a couple readings to do before tomorrow’s class – still sticking to those New Year’s Resolutions. 🙂