Just Because

Sometimes you feel like you deserve a treat. Whether you have reached a goal, accomplished something great or perhaps even dodged a bullet. Or two.

As of late, I have done all four, so I was looking for something fabulous. And what prey tell might that "something fabulous" be, you ask? 

A manicure and pedicure? Not so much.

A few bottles of Jo Malone? Just stocked up on these, so no again.

Take a Saturday off? Did that last week for the first time in over two years and it 'twas beautiful! 

Actually, I have had my blue eyes zoned in on a particular almond cake that was featured on "Pati's Mexican Table," a new program on PBS's Saturday afternoon cooking shows. Though I may not be that crazy about the show in its entirety, I will say that this flourless cake Pati made definitely piqued my interest. Enough that I ran to the computer, printed the recipe and have had it in a holding pattern for the last 10 days or so sitting in my "to make" recipe file folder hoping and waiting for an occasion when it might come in handy.

So here we are! Ta-da! Feeling deserving, I decided to make this flourless sweet treat but I gave it my own twist. Cheers to me and cheers to you. Just because.

(Note: Husband asked why I made the cake and I said, "Just because." To which he replied after eating a big slice, "You can make this cake anytime." And we both smiled...grateful for the cake and each other.)

Buen provecho!

Flourless Lemon-Almond Cake
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Pati's Mexican Table

Print recipe

I changed this recipe up quite a bit because I don't feel like Port is a good addition, though it very well may be. It's just not my flavor choice. Instead, I added the zest of a lemon and then the juice and it really developed into a spectacular summer sensation. Moist, dreamy and delicious. You could easily swap the lemon for oranges in the winter. Or keep the lemon so everyone can remember what summer tastes like.

Serve 8-10

2 cups slivered almonds or almond meal
1/2 cup of sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Garnish with: powdered sugar, sliced fruit, berries and/or whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a round 9-10 inch spring-form pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Place the almond flour and sugar into the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the four eggs to the mixture and pulse until well combined. 

Add the vanilla extract and salt and then drop in chunks of the softened butter. Add the zest of 1 lemon and then cut it in half and carefully squeeze the juice making sure you don't let any seeds escape into the batter. Pulse until well combined and smooth.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The top will turn slightly golden and the cake will feel springy to the touch. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the cake.

Look at the those two lovely toothpick holes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Unmold the cake, invert onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. Now get a nice plate and invert the cake again so the top of the cake is now right side up.

Using a sieve of sorts, sprinkle confectioners sugar over the top of the cake. Slice and serve with fresh fruit, berries and/or whipped cream.

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