because it's my birthday.
i bought myself these gifts: health insurance, a set of fringe & fettle bowls, and chickens (they will arrive mid-june!)
i am celebrating in this way: in bismarck, for my friend jean's wedding tomorrow! i plan to get a pedicure and help make cookies for jean's rehearsal dinner and drink and hang out with eggboy.
i will eat: a greasy breakfast sandwich*, cheese fries*, friday pizza, and this marzipan marzipan cake.
i will drink: anything that is placed in front of me. it might have rhubarb simple syrup in it because i brought my own with me to bismarck.
i will listen to: mahler 5*
i will not: use the internet (too much).
last year i got the tastiest cake in the mail. it was so dense and almondy, i just wanted to lie in a bed of it. it was not too sweet and a perfect cake for the mail because it didn't require any frosting and it's one of those that gets better with age. (can i be one of those??? or do we even talk about age on our birthdays anymore? just cake? you're right, just cake.) it was so delicious and unique that it might have been one of the best cakes i've ever had. so this week, i tracked down the recipe, in amanda hesser's book cooking for mr. latte, and, well, covered it in marzipan. because that seemed like the correct thing to do during my birthday week. i also halved it to make it a mini 6-inch situation and added some blueberry jam because st. dalfour's wild blueberry jam is having a moment in my life right now. also almonds + blueberries = a very good thing.
marzipan marzipan blueberry cake
makes one 2-layer 6-inch cake
cake adapted from amanda hesser's almond cake
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c sugar
3.5 oz almond paste, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c all-purpose flour
about 1/2 c blueberry jam
about 10 oz marzipan
gel or liquid food coloring
preheat oven to 350 f. grease two 6-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.
mix together the sour cream and baking soda and set it aside.
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. add the almond paste and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes. add the egg yolks one at a time and mix until incorporated. blend in the almond extract, the sour cream mixture, and the salt. reduce mixer to low and gradually add the flour until just combined.
divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly. bake for about 30 minutes, until the tops are browned and the edges shrink from the sides of the pan. the centers of the cakes will likely cave in a bit once they come out of the oven but that's ok. let the cakes cool for a few minutes in their pans and then turn onto a wire rack to cool fully. you can wrap these in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature for about a week or so.
level the tops of the cakes, if needed. spread a thick layer of jam on one layer and then place the other layer on top. spread a thin layer of jam all over the entire cake.
roll your marzipan out on a piece of parchment paper into a large circle, about 1/4 inch thick. use the parchment to help get the marzipan sheet over the cake. smooth the marzipan down over the cake and trim the edges. knead food coloring into any excess marzipan and use it for decorations. stick on your decorations, complete the look with sprinkles!