Eat Well: Almond Cake and Gingerbroads

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thank you, Mom!
I have been in a journaling group for over ten years. We are a group of women artists who get together once a month and, facilitated by our mentor, Lois Sunrich, dive deep into our inner beings and write, letting our pens lead us wherever they want to go.
This group has been a grounding and powerful force in my life. Every December, we reflect on the past year, and in January, we set our creative goals for the coming year. I am mentioning this as a preface to my post because today we met, and after writing about other things, I reflected on the holidays…all 12 of us being together for 5 days…and how calm I was, mainly because I had really prepared by freezing lots of food—even the cooked ginger bread for the gingerbread house—and this made all the difference.
I even introduced a couple of new traditions because there was time to—making hand sculpted gingerbread men/women/snowmen/whatever-else (without cookie cutters) and an ornament project.

I hope to add both of these traditions to our yearly festivities, as they were fun for everyone, adults and children alike. And as long as I plan ahead, it should be possible.
I have written before about all of my traditional recipes, but I also like to try a new one every year or two for fun, and this year it was an almond cake.

Larry and I fell in love with this cake when our friend Liz made it for us. It is the perfect cake for any occasion and was a nice addition to our dessert table.

I served it plain, but you could serve it with fresh fruit and whipped cream for an even more decadent dessert. The ingredients aren’t cheap, as you need two packages of almond paste, but it serves a lot of people and is worth the splurge.

It’s really easy to make, so it’s a great cake to bring to a potluck or serve at a dinner party, year-round. And you can make it a day ahead, which is what I did for Christmas.

For those of you who are gluten-free, it converts beautifully (I used my favorite, Pamela’s Artisan Flour).
Almond Cake 

1 cup sugar
2 packages Odense almond paste
1 cup softened butter
6 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ regular or gluten-free flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Oil and paper a 9-10 inch spring form pan.
3. Break almond paste into small pieces and add to sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on low until combined.
4. Add butter and cream together until well combined.
5. Scrape bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on high until fluffy, stopping to scrape bowl, sides and bottom, once or twice.

6. Add salt and flour and mix until combined.

7. Pour into spring form, using a knife to even out. (Batter will be thick.)

8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

9. Wiggle the pan, and if it doesn’t wiggle in the middle, test with a knife or cake tester. If it isn’t done, cook another 5 to 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

10. Cool on wire rack in the pan. Unhinge spring form when cool.
Did you make anything new for the holidays? Any new traditions started? I’d love to hear from you!