A while back I saw a photo on Instagram of Tartine Bakery's almond-lemon tea cake, and it looked so lush and rich and lovely I had to try it. After making the original (it was as lovely as I hoped) a few times, I wanted to tweak it a little. Add some of my own favourite things, that just happens to work really well together. I substituted the almond paste for a homemade walnut paste, added lime zest and a fruity chili powder and glazed the cake with a sweet and salty raspberry and smoky mezcal syrup. Fresh raspberries and mint leaves were not just pretty, but brought a bright freshness to the sweet, smoky, salty cake. It turned out kind of like a lovechild between a cocktail and a cake. So it really is my favourite things-cake
One 16cm cake
25g blanched almonds
20g cane sugar
10g glucose syrup
1 Tbsp. Water
Bring water, sugar and glucose syrup to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Grind almonds and walnuts very fine in a small food processor then slowly pour in the syrup a little at a time. Knead the almond paste, wrap in clingfilm and cool overnight.
Walnut lime chilli tea cake
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
100g walnut paste, at room temperature
120g cane sugar
1 tsp. Lime zest
1/2 tsp. Ground guajillo chili
Preheat oven to 160C, line bottom and sides of a 16cm cake pan with parchment and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the walnut paste with lime zest and ground chili on low speed for about a minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat until fully incorporated in the walnut paste. Add the softened butter a few Tbsp. at a time, scraping the down the sides of the bowl in between. Turn the speed up to medium and beat until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and add flour mixture in two batches. Stir with a spoon until flour is just incorporated into the walnut mixture. Spoon the batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, while you make the glaze.
Sweet and salty raspberry mezcal glaze
2 Tbsp. raspberry juice
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. mezcal
Raspberries, icing sugar and fresh mint leaves
Warm up raspberry juice, lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in mezcal and season with salt to your taste.
Remove the cake from the pan, place on a wire rack over a piece of parchment and brush the warm cake with the glaze. Leave to cool completely on the rack.
Decorate with fresh raspberries, a dusting of icing sugar and fresh mint leaves before serving.