Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Pine Nut Almond Cake

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

A little bit of salt has been used to enhance sweets for a long time, but it's only recently that we've become accustomed to desserts that are truly salty. This Pine Nut Almond Cake from Italian Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers is almost more salty than it is sweet but in a way that makes it a wonderfully balanced and elegant way to end a meal.

It's a variation on a pound cake recipe that uses ground almonds and flour and a little more than a pound of butter. The nutty cake is studded with chopped pine nuts and refreshingly lemony with a hint of vanilla that can only come from using real vanilla beans. The rich, dense cake is topped with a layer of pine nuts that have been tossed with salt; they toast during baking, releasing some of their natural oil onto the cake and almost caramelizing.

The sweet saltiness of this cake makes it appropriate for any time of day. And, believe me, we have been enjoying this cake at all times of the day—a small slice for breakfast, in the afternoon with a glass of wine, and as a midnight snack.

Win Italian Easy

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Italian Easy to give away this week.

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