Writin' Rations™ — Almond Torte

Okay, so, like, you need to make a cake or something, and you need to do it in a hurry, and it needs to be very, very simple, because you have a deadline for that story or novel draft or Ph.D. proposal. Writin' Rations™ to the rescue! The main time commitment is the baking and cooling, but you can go do other things while they're happening.

Emergency Almond Torte
1. Melt a lump of butter approximately the size of a pack of playing cards, and set aside to cool a little. While this is happening, preheat the oven to about 140 degrees C (280 degrees or so F, maybe 300).

2. Whisk together four eggs, one extravagantly heaped cup of sugar, a half teaspoon of salt, and a generous splash each of vanilla extract/essence, almond extract, and whatever nut-flavored liqueur you have on hand (if any). Keep whisking until it's all pale yellow and frothy and you are bored. This should take about 10 minutes, maybe a little longer if your attention span is better than mine.

3. Once the butter is cool enough to neither cook the eggs on contact nor burn your hand, use a little bit of it to grease a round cake pan, and whisk the rest of it into the egg mixture. If you don't mind a little gluten, flour the cake pan as well.

4. Dump between 1.5 and 2 cups almond meal into the bowl of batter (2 is better than 1.5, but sometimes you're getting toward the bottom of the bag and so you make do), and mix until there are no lumps. This should not take very much effort.

5. Pour into the cake pan (of COURSE), and bake until it's very, very golden brown and firm. This may take as long as 45 minutes, but you can use this time to finish your story or clean up the kitchen or something equally arduous yet necessary.

6. Let cool for at least a half hour, then slice and eat. Om nom nom.

UPDATE, March 5, 2017

Because tonight I needed to make a version with no dairy in it, I used coconut oil in place of the butter, with two changes: (1) I added just a little more salt, to make up for the salt that would have been in the butter that I was no longer using; and (2) instead of melting the coconut oil, I used the mixer first to get all the lumps out (a whisk might also work, if the day is warm enough – or I supposed you could melt it after all), then to incorporate the sugar and eggs, beating the three ingredients on high for several minutes. (I also, because I could, stirred slightly rehydrated, home-dried strawberries into the batter just before baking; home-dried are better because the store ones are oddly textured and full of extra sugar and don't taste nearly enough like actual strawberries to allay my suspicions.)


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Helen V. said...

Ooh, thanks for that, Laura. My daughter was diagnosed last year as gluten intolerant so I'm always on the look out for recipes. She has a sweet tooth so cakes are just what we need.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Aviva said...

Lovely recipe, Laura. I read this with great joy! I look forward to making it.


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