To learn more, read "Spring Fling" in our National edition. See all the recipes in this story: Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Pounded Herbs and Green Garlic; Baby Artichokes with Toasted Hazelnuts and Green Olives; Crispy Potatoes with Saffron Aioli and Gem Lettuce with Crème Fraîche, Breakfast Radishes and Toasted Breadcrumbs.
Almond Cake with Macerated Strawberries and Cardamom Cream
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz, Living the Sweet Life in Paris
Yield: One 9-inch cake
Prep Time: minutes (plus 20 minutes for cooling)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (plus 20 minutes for cooling)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1½ cups sugar
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting the pan
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1. Macerate the strawberries: In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries, sugar, orange blossom water and lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature while you make the cake, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
2. Preheat the oven at 325°. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, dust it with the 1 tablespoon of flour and tap out any excess.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar, almond paste and ¼ cup of the flour and pulse until the almond paste is broken up and the whole mixture is finely ground. Add the rest of the butter and vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, processing until all the ingredients are combined.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¾ cup of flour, baking powder and salt.
6. Working in batches, add the flour mixture to the food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake has set and top is a deep golden brown.
8. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then release it from the springform pan and let cool completely.
9. When you're ready to serve the cake, make the cardamom cream: In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and the ground cardamom and whisk until soft peaks form.
10. Serve wedges of cake with a spoonful of the strawberries and some cardamom cream.
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