Almond Cake with a Raspberry Puree -- Pain de Gênes sur Coulis de Framboise

Updated 7/12/2011 1:41 PM

1 tablespoon kirsch, framboise, or Cointreau (optional)

Raspberry Coulis (see related recipe)

1 tablespoon melted butter and all-purpose flour, for cake pan

⅔ cup (100 g) whole blanched almonds or ¾ cup (100 g) slivered almonds

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 g) granulated sugar, divided

¼ cup (40 g) all-purpose flour

8 tablespoons (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons dark rum

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Add the kirsch, framboise, or Cointreau to the raspberry coulis. (The coulis can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until used.)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position. Cut a round of waxed paper to fit the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan. Brush the bottom of the pan with the melted butter and place the paper in it. Butter and lightly flour the waxed paper and the sides of the pan.

Combine the almonds with half the granulated sugar in a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Add the flour to this mixture and set aside.

In a food processor, cream the 8 tablespoons of butter and the remaining granulated sugar. When smooth, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and rum. Add the almond-flour mixture and process quickly just until smooth.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. (It will fill only about one fourth of the pan.) Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown in color and comes slightly away from the edge of the pan. Unmold onto a wire rack, remove and discard the waxed paper, and allow to cool.

To serve: Dust with confectioners' sugar to coat the surface of the cake. Cut into 8 wedges. Pour about 3 tablespoons of raspberry coulis onto each serving plate. Tilt the plates so the sauce coats them evenly, then place a slice of cake in the center of each plate.

Serves six to eight.

"French Classics Made Easy" by Richard Grausman (2011 Workman)