It’s All About Effort and Almond Paste Cake

by Joanne on February 1, 2015

I was along for the ride today while running with friends.  Turned out to be quite an interesting run.  We had no time goal except S L O W.  One of us wanted to do 15 miles, another 14, and me, 12. We left from my house so I mapped out our route:


Although it was cold, it wasn’t as cold as any of us had anticipated. Amy made a comment with somewhat frozen mouth “The only part of me that’s cold is my chin”.  I heard the comment and thought I heard “tit”, but said nothing.  Shirley questioned Amy “What part?”  Amy again said “my chin”.  Shirley: “Oh. I thought you said something else.”  At that point, I had a giggle fit, knowing Shirley and I both thought Amy said “tit”.  Do you realize how difficult it is to run when you’re having a giggle fit?!!! That was the first struggle.

We went along, non stop chatting, moving at a mediocre pace but it still felt like a hard effort.  It may have been the cold, the footing, or maybe we were just tired.  When we got about 1/2 a mile from my house, my running partners still had 3 miles to run. I was done so I explained a short mile loop they could do then I would catch them at the base of a hill, thinking I could easily jog home 2 miles after a short break.

I waited. No sign of my partners. I ran up and down the road. No sign. I began to panic since my friends weren’t familiar with the area.  Ok. Now I’m freaking out, went home and got in the car.  Thank goodness I found them and we all drove home.  Lesson learned:  When We Run Together, We STAY Together!

Back to commenting on that tough mid range run.  Running in the winter is hard. No question.  We struggle with the cold temperature, the wind, the uneven footing or slushy roads, and our pace is slower and we can feel defeated.  It’s important to remember that it’s the EFFORT that counts. My way of thinking is that today’s 12 mile run at about a 9:40 min/mile pace equated to more like a 9 min/mile pace, effort wise.  I can smile about that.

AND, I can EAT to that with a nice piece of ALMOND PASTE CAKE

Courtesy of International Culinary Institute, Chef Toba Garrett’s Almond Paste Cake with French Vanilla Buttercream. 

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SLAM ON THE BRAKES!   I changed things a bit.  See my recipe below.

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Makes 1, 2 layer 9” cake.

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  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 oz almond paste
  • 12 oz granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 6 oz milk
  • 9 oz cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray and line with parchment, 2 9” cake pans.

Cream butter, almond paste and sugar for 4 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time then add the almond extract.

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk.  Spoon into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Allow to cool.

For the French Buttercream:

  • 12 oz granulated sugar
  • 6 oz milk
  • 1 1/2 TBS flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • 2 sticks butter, cut up
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, cut up

For the buttercream, heat the milk and sugar over medium heat bringing to a simmer until the sugar dissolves then cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and beat in the flour and salt and extract.  Allow to cool.

Pour the mixture into a standing mixer bowl.  Turn the mixer on low and add one piece of butter at a time then the cream cheese.  Once all butter and cheese has been added, turn mixer up to high speed and beat for 8 – 10 minutes.

Fill and frost cake.  *Filling in my cake is Chocolate Cannoli Cream, although the French Butter Cream will work beautifully as a lighter filling.

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Small pieces PLEASE…although you’ll want SO    MUCH   MORE!

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This is our Super Bowl Super Dessert. Hope we can celebrate a win by ….The Seattle Seahawks!

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What’s your game day dessert?

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  • At 2015.02.01 18:14, Choc Chip Uru said:

    And smile you should, sounds like a difficult trek! Your effort amazes me 😀
    Loving your beautiful cake, I don’t use almond enough in my baking! You definitely deserved a giant piece 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

    • At 2015.02.01 20:07, claudia lamascolo said:

      What a gorgeous cake! WOWZER! nice one Joanne I want some right now!

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