For National Almond Day, we’re thinking about this luscious Strawberry Almond Cream Cake. In such northeastern cities as Hartford and Boston, Italian bakeries win lifetime customers with their rum-soaked cream cakes. These cakes are made with spongecake layered with whipped cream and fruit. Some bakeries fill the layers with fruit and custard. Others pile the fruit on top and soak the cake with a vanilla-, citrus- and spirits-perfumed syrup.
We’ve made our version of this specialty with an extra-moist almond paste spongecake. Our tip is to beat the almond paste with the sugar until it lightens into a sandy texture. This helps ensure a lump-free batter. We use this technique in many cookie and cake batters we make with almond paste. And to keep the cakes moist, cool them on powdered-sugar-dusted parchment or waxed paper. Once cooled and well wrapped, they keep well for several days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for a month or so.
Bright, ripe strawberries top this cake but blueberries, raspberries or slices of ripe peaches would be delicious. And a layer of lemon curd would make an idea filling. For a complete change of taste, fill and frost the cake with dark chocolate or coffee buttercream. But remember, if using whipped cream, just be sure to fill and top the cake close to serving before the fluffy cream deflates.