Almond cake is a delicious snack cum dessert that refers to two types of confectionery – the first is a type of small and crunchy pastry that is also known by the names “Almond Biscuit” and “Almond Cookie”, which is actually a pastry; the other is like any other cake that is generally served with tea. The first variety is a crumbly cookie (at the first bite) that does not have any kind of filling and is very popular in China, especially Hong Kong. Though the biscuit is originally from Macau, it is exported to many other Asian countries. The second variety of almond flavored cake is made like regular cakes and is very popular in European countries, where it is available in different flavors, such as orange, blueberry, Scandinavian, etc.
History of Almond Cake Recipe
As per records, there are two references made to the almond cake. The crumbly, crunchy cookie is originally from Macau, where it is considered more or less like a national cookie. In fact, there is a street near the ruins of St. Peter’s Cathedral, where many shops and hawkers have been selling this cookie for many years. Its popularity has resulted in its export as well.
The other reference is to the regular tea time snack, which is supposed to have originated in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. With time, many flavors of this cake, to suit different palates, have become popular.
Almond Flavored Cake – Ingredients Used & Preparation
The main ingredients that go into making this cake are flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter and most importantly almond flavor and finely chopped almonds. The almond pieces are used for lining the cake tray and also for topping the cake before it is bakes. This gives a nice crispy and wholesome feel to the cake. Irrespective of the recipe, whether it is the Macanese cookies or the European almond cake, the basic ingredients remain constant with a few inclusions of other ingredients (toppings).
Almond Cake Recipe - Variations
There are many variations to this popular cake. The most popular ones are –
Macanese Almond Biscuit – These biscuits or cookies are prepared with flour and other basic ingredients as used in any cookie. Considered to be a very popular Macanese snack, this crumbly cookie is available in many flavors.
Scandinavian Almond Cake – Ingredients such as milk, sugar, eggs and almond extract are mixed well and then the sieved flour (with baking powder and a pinch of salt) is folded in followed by the butter. This well mixed batter is then poured into a greased tray that is lined with slices of almond. This cake tends to have a nice crispy and crunchy crust, while the insides are soft. The warm cake can be dusted with powdered sugar.
Orange Almond Cake – This is prepared like any regular sponge cake with the exception of orange liqueur and orange rind being added to the batter while it is being mixed. This adds orange flavor to the cake without losing out its almond flavor. The cake can be topped with an icing of choice, preferably orange flavored.
Blueberry Almond Cake – This is again a regular almond flavored sponge cake; however, blueberries are added on the top of the cake before and after it is baked. This adds color and flavor to the almond cake.