What started as a lovely fruit buckle is now a finely textured, almond-scented, raspberry-filled tea (or coffee) cake. I blame Costco for this.
You see, last year was the first time I ever had my very own membership there; I no longer had to tag along with family or friends (Hi Chris! Hi Sara!) on their outings to the warehouse. This made it all-too-easy for me to overbuy produce/cheese/olive oil/you name it. When a six pack of raspberries came in last summer, I couldn’t resist bringing it home. We ate several packs on their own or with a bowl of vanilla-almond granola before I thought to make a raspberry buckle.
When I actually set out to make it a few days later, I determined that the berries were too far on the mushy side (but not yet rotten or moldy, I do have standards) for a successful buckle. Oh, right, I might add that I learned of this only after the buckle batter was made — I’ve since gotten better at that whole mise en place thing — adding a nice twist to the situation.
So, naturally, in a
fit of rage minimally MacGyver-esque move, I smashed them together with a bit of starch and powdered sugar to make a quick, jam-like filling for the batter. When I looked at the cake, though, it looked . . . naked. To dress it up (ha!), I scrounged around the pantry and found some sliced almonds and turbinado sugar to sprinkle over the top; the latter melts into a delicate, crisp layer that practically shatters upon slicing (I alternately love/hate this).
For me, the almond-raspberry pairing is perfection, a combination of flavors I fell in love with long ago. As breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack, this cake fits to a T. I guess I should really say thank you to Costco after all!
Almond-Raspberry Tea Cake
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes/>
Makes: 9″ Square Cake (9-16 pieces)
- 56 grams (1/2 cup) Almond Meal/Flour
- 192 grams (1 cup) Evaporated Cane Juice or Granulated White Sugar
- 54 grams (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) Millet Flour
- 54 grams (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) Garbanzo Fava Flour
- 72 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) Potato Starch
- 32 grams (1/4 cup) Arrowroot Starch
- 3/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 227 grams (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) Almond Extract
- 6 ounces Fresh Raspberries, rinsed and dried very well
- 8 grams (1 tablespoon) Arrowroot Starch
- 8 grams (1 tablespoon) Powdered Sugar
- 8 grams (1 tablespoon) Arrowroot Starch, if needed (see instructions)
- 28 grams (1/4 cup) Almond Meal Flour
- 28 grams (1/4 cup) Raw Sliced Almonds, crushed
- 12 grams (1 tablespoon) Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
For Serving (Optional):
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 16 grams (2 tablespoons) Powdered Sugar
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Additional Raspberries
Make Cake Batter:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” square pan; line the bottom and two sides with a large sheet of parchment, do not trim the overhang (see this photo for clarification).
In a food processor, combine almond meal and evaporated cane juice; pulse/run until very finely ground (about 1 minute). Whisk together millet flour through salt in a small bowl; add to the work bowl and process until evenly mixed (1 minute, scrape down/whisk as needed). Add butter, pulse several times then run processor for about 30 seconds, or until mixture comes together into a smooth paste. Scrape down bowl; add eggs and extracts. Process just until combined, scraping down bowl if needed (15 – 30 seconds).
In a small bowl, lightly crush the raspberry filling ingredients together with a fork.
Assemble Tea Cake:
Transfer half of the batter (1 1/2 cups / 13 ounces / 369 grams) to the prepared pan; spread evenly with an offset spatula. Gently spread crushed raspberry mixture over batter to the edges. If mixture appears very wet, sift the remaining tablespoon arrowroot starch over raspberry layer (if you’re unsure, do this step, it acts as “insurance” for spreading the top layer of batter — it does make the filling gummier, though). Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup almond meal over filling.
Dollop the remaining batter over the filling. Using an offset spatula, connect dollops then spread into an even layer trying not to disturb the filling.
Lightly crush sliced almonds with your hands and scatter over the top; press them lightly into the batter to adhere. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake and Serve:
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan to a cooling rack, immediately run a very thin knife (a straight or offset spatula) around the edges to loosen. Cool completely in the pan. Once cool, run spatula around the pan again, then lift out by the parchment paper flaps to a wire rack, plate or cutting board. With a very sharp knife, preferably serrated, cut into squares.
If desired, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract (to taste) to soft peaks. Serve a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries on the side with a slice of room-temperature cake.