{table for two | recipe : almond cake with sugar peonies & roses}

{table for two | recipe : almond cake with sugar peonies & roses}

And while on the topic of peonies & Parisian flower markets, have you seen the amazing almond cake with sugar peonies & roses created by Lulu’s Sweet Secrets?  So beautiful, one would nearly be afraid to eat it.  Nearly.

{table for two | recipe : almond cake with sugar peonies & roses}

{table for two | recipe : almond cake with sugar peonies & roses}

[makes two 8-inch cakes]

4 cups ground almond
1 cup all purpose flour
10 tb butter, melted
1 tb almond extract
1 tb vanilla extract
10 eggs
2 cup granulated sugars

Preheat the oven to 30°F/ 170°C.

Separate the egg whites and yolks.  In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix on high speed until pale yellow, about 10 minutes.

Fold the ground almonds into the flour with a rubber spatula. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add one third of the flour mixture to the yolk mixture. Add the next third and incorporate well, then add the rest.

In another large dry bowl, with a clean whisk, bring the egg whites to foam. Once they are white and frothy, add the remaining the sugar and continue to whip until firm.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold a quarter of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in with the spatula, then add the rest of the whites and fold in. Stop as soon as the whites are incorporated.

Add the melted butter and gently fold in with the spatula until well incorporated.

Transfer the batter to 2 greased 8-inch baking pans and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the cakes are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Note: these two cakes make 4 layers.

[Adapted from the book Laduree Sucre]

7 tb /100g butter
3/4 cup / 100 g confectioners’ sugar
1 cup / 100 g ground almonds
1 tb (10g) cornstarch
2 eggs
1 tb almond extract
1 tb rum
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Cut the butter into small pieces and put in a large heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water or in the microwave to soften until creamy, without allowing it to melt.

Incorporate the following ingredients into the butter, making sure to mix well after each addition: confectioner’ sugar, ground almonds, cornstarch, eggs, almond extract, rum and condensed milk.

[all images & recipe from lulu’s sweet secrets]