I'd seen this cake made by the Tuesdays With Dorie group a few weeks ago, and I just could not resist. Maybe it was the simplicity of the recipe, or the rustic but oh-so-pretty pictures in Dorie's book, but something about this cake just called out to me.
This cake is seriously one of the most delicious cakes I have ever made and it probably took me about 15 minutes tops to prepare. Am I tooting my own horn? Sure, maybe a little, but not really, since the deliciousness of this cake is not a reflection of the baker, it is a reflection of the recipe. It is so simple to make and just wonderful to eat. Butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, and almonds...how can you go wrong? Plus, the batter is easily prepared in one bowl and doesn't require a mixer.
Best of all, this cake is just a blank canvas for so many variations I have in mind - maybe adding a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, or topping it with a fruit compote, or folding in a handful of... chocolate chips (bet you didn't see that one coming). So rebellious yet so delicious too. The possibilities are seriously endless.
Swedish Visiting Cake (from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours)
*8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
*1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
*Grated zest of 1 lemon
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1/2 tsp almond extract
*1 cup flour
*1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
*powdered sugar (optional, for serving)
1. Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy oven-proof skillet, a 9-inch round cake pan or even a pie pan.
2. Pour sugar into a medium bowl. Add lemon zest and blend zest into sugar with your fingers until sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Whisk in salt and vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in flour. Finally, fold in melted butter. Scrape batter into prepared skillet or pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
4. Scatter sliced almonds over top and sprinkle with sugar. If using a cake or pie pan, place pan on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and a little crisp on outside; the inside will remain moist. Let cook slightly, and sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar before serving.