I started reading this incredibly inspiring and beautifully written book about a 28 year old who suffers a brain aneurysm and uses cooking and food to fully heal and champion such a frightening time in her life. It illustrates the fact that food and cooking for so many is a source of memories and comfort. Food has the power to build relationships and create bonds and conversations among complete strangers. It has the power to take us to the most magical of places where we can easily return to each time we eat that dish, visit that restaurant, or smell the gentle simmer in a pot.
Throughout the book there are recipes that are very personal to the main character and are meals that she remembers fondly. Meals that helped her regain who she was before the aneurysm. This almond cake is one of them. It is incredibly flavorful, the texture is wonderful, and it can be eaten alone or made into a snazzy strawberry shortcake. This recipe was adapted slightly from the book to be gluten free. Hope you enjoy!
Book: Stir by Jessica Fletcher
“Food has powers. It picks us up from our lonely corners and sits us back down, together. It pulls us out of ourselves, to the kitchen, to the table, to the diner down the block. At the same time, it draws us inward. Food is the keeper of our memories, connecting us with our pasts and with our people.” Stir – Jessica Fletcher
3½ TBS Sliced Almonds
¾ Cups (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted
1½ Cups Sugar
2 large eggs
1½ tsp Almond Extract
1½ tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Sea Salt, plus more for finishing
1½ Cups Gluten Free AP Flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9-inch cake or pie pan.
- Spread the sliced almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, until fragrant and light golden brown.
- Sift the flour into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a separate bowl.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time, whisking to combine.
- Add the almond extract, vanilla, and salt, whisking until combined and smooth.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the sifted flour.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and scatter the toasted almonds and a light sprinkle of sea salt flakes.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown along the edges and set at the top.