I made this cake recently without chocolate, but really – isn’t everything better with chocolate in it? Perhaps not Lamb Sausage Patties, but most everything else. This is a light, not terribly sweet cake. You could serve it for dessert at dinnertime, but somehow it seems more like a lunch or brunch cake to me. You can make it a day ahead, but it will lose a little of the crunch on the topping.
Chocolate Almond Buttermilk Cake (makes one 9-inch cake)
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (shake well before measuring)
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup salted Marcona Almonds, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together almond meal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the almond extract and the egg and beat until just blended (don’t overbeat or you’ll make the cake stiff). Gradually add the flour and buttermilk, alternating in two additions each.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Using a large rubber spatula gently smooth the top of the cake. In a small bowl toss together the 1½ tablespoons of sugar and the almonds. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the cake. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the center of your oven until the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. I wanted to have the sugar/nut side up – so I double inverted the cake, first onto a non-serving plate and then one more time onto my cake plate so that the pretty/interesting side was face up. Serve immediately or allow to cool, and then store in a plastic storage container.