California Raisin and Burnt Almond Cake

By Nikki Misa

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  • 1.

    In a small bowl, combine together egg whites, fresh milk, vanilla extract and amaretto.

    In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, ground almond, sugar, baking powder and salt. Toss raisins into the mixture.

    To make a cream, combine milk and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

    Combine all three in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.

    Pour into a non-stick baking pan and bake at 180°C for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. Allow to cool.

    To assemble, slice through the cake horizontally with a serrated knife. Remove the top and set aside.

    With a spatula, spread a generous amount of almond cream. Place small broken pieces of caramelized almonds on top.

    Place remaining cake on top, spread remaining mixture of almond cream. With an off-set spatula, spread the remaining almond cream mixture evenly on the sides and on top of the cake. Freeze the cake until it’s ready for glazing.

    Take out the cake from the freezer and put on a cooling rack. Pour the dulce de leche glaze on top and let it sit until the glaze sets. Garnish with California Raisins, caramelized almonds and cake crumbs.

  • 2. Almond Cream

    In a bowl, combine egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar. Whisk until smooth then set aside.

    In a saucepan, warm vanilla bean and milk and bring to a boil. Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg yolks, whisking rapidly. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir continuously under low heat, mixing until it thickens into a paste.

    Remove saucepan from the fire. Add in butter and stir until smooth. Add burnt almond powder and amaretto and combine well. Cover tightly with cling film and chill in the refrigerator.

  • 3. Caramelized Almonds

    In a baking tray, bake almond flakes at 200°C until almost burnt.

    In a saucepan, cook water, sugar, lemon juice and salt at medium heat until the color turns dark caramel. With a wooden spoon, stir in butter and mix until melted and shiny. Quickly add almond flakes and once combined, spread thinly onto a silpat. Cool completely before breaking into pieces.

  • 4. Dulce de Leche Glaze

    Cook the condensed milk by submerging them in boiling water for 2 hours. Shock in ice water to cool it down.

    Soak gelatin sheets in iced water.

    In a saucepan, combine the dulce de leche, heavy cream and water. Add the gelatin when it starts to boil. Strain and let the glaze cool to 20°C.