Wiki says Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E. They are also rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two "good" fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol.
Claimed health benefits of almonds include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the colon and the prevention of cancer.
Almond is considered a nutritive for the brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity.
Due to its low-carbohydrate ratio and its good dietary fibre almond flour is very desirable for use in cake, cookies and bread recipes by people on carbohydrate-restricted diets and patients suffering from diabetes.
This said I got an opportunity to make use of my stocked up almonds. To add a little color and fruit I choose to go with sweetened juicy cherries which where in my fridge for a long time. These cherries remind me of my childhood days when my granny use to(very rarely) buy them and treat us. There was this big jar of sweetened red juicy cherries in one of the most popular sweet shop in the city I lived back home. I used to drool at that jar of cherries when ever I visited the sweet stall. Since they were expensive, elders at home used to buy them only when we baked cake at home. So the moments with these cherries were precious.
Now here we go with the most nutritious almonds and treasured cherries to bake one sumptuous cake.
400 gms butter(softened)
1 -3/4 cups sugar
Flour & Powders:
1-1/2cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground allspice (optional)
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp almond extract
1 tbsp Cherry extract
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 - 1 cup Evaporated milk
Fruit & Nut:
1/2 cup cherries in syrup (assorted, sliced)
1/2 cup Almonds made into Almond Paste or use store bought
For Almond Paste :
1/2 cup ground almonds
4 Tsp of milk
a pinch of rose water
2 Tbsp Sugar or Honey
5-7 Cherries sliced
5-7 Almonds chopped
Blanch Almonds by adding them to boiled water and peel off skin. Dry them fully.
Grind Almonds to make powder.
Boil sugar with just a little water to soft ball consistency and add all the other ingredients under almond paste. Once the paste leaves the vessel remove from heat and pour into a small bowl for later use.
Alternatively you can use store bought Almond paste too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour your desired cake pans. I usually use a loaf pan and a square pan.
Measure all ingredients and keep them ready, Take butter out of fridge before an hour to soften it.
Beat butter, sugar in a large bowl until they turn creamy Add in eggs. Beat on low speed of electric mixer until blended, then on high speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Combine and swift together flour, allspice(if adding, baking powder, soda and salt in a separate bowl, and fold these dry ingredients alternately with liquid ingredients except milk. Keep mixing
Add almond paste, mix. Add milk according to the consistency of the batter. Keep mixing while adding. Add sliced cherries. Gently mix to combine.
Pour into Prepared greased pan/pans.
Garnish with sliced cherries and chopped almonds
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes
Once the cake rises and gets the shape and is browning on the top, then remove from the oven and cover it with foil, shiny side up, and bake for the remaining time or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.