Thursday, July 11, 2013

Almond Paste Cake with my French Friends!


Bonjour mes amis!

I have been very Blessed, living here in France!

I have made some dear friends (despite the language barrier), and I am confident that after we leave Orléans next month, I will stay in touch and Lord Willing, I will see them again in 2014!

On Tuesday night, I was invited to a small Dinner Party (at Chez Liz) to honor a sweet Lady I met at our Church. She and her family will be moving to Belgium, and we have been part of a little Ladies Bible Study together.  She will be missed.

The hope was to have Dinner in the Garden (which we did!), and Liz would cook something on the BBQ, while the rest of us furnished the other components of the Meal.  Of course, this was still a Dinner Party in France, so we started with some Champagne and appetizers.  Liz prepared some marinated meats and Shish-kabob Skewers.  There was a nice green salad, a very tasty salad made with Avocado and Grapefruit (I'm expecting Sara to share the recipe with me soon!), and of course,  Bread!  We talked and shared, both Praise Items and Prayer Requests, and just enjoyed eachother's company.

After the Meal, we had Dessert, which included a nice Fruit Salad that Sylvie brought, and my Almond Cake!

I paired it with Strawberries!  It went over well, despite that fact that we ate it in the dark, by Candlelight!  My Friends have requested the Recipe, so I thought I may as well share it on the blog.  For my French Friends, I will need to convert the ingredient amounts to the Metric System, but for you, dear Readers, I will just share the Recipe as I made it.

Almond Paste Cake

1 cup Flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
8 ounces of Almond Paste
1 1/3 cups Sugar
1 cup of Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
6 Eggs

Preheat your Oven to 325 degrees.
Mix 3/4 cup of Flour and the dry ingredients.  Set aside.
Mix 1/4 cup Flour, Almond Paste and Sugar, and beat to a sand texture.
Add Butter, Extracts and Almond Paste, and then mix with dry ingredients.
Spread in a greased 9X9 pan.
Bake 60-65 minutes.  Cool.

You can cut this Cake into a layer, and spread with a nice Jam,
or even frost with a buttercream frosting,
but I chose to just make a drizzle of Powdered Sugar and Water,
and served it with the Strawberries.

In France, you can buy the Almond Paste in a log form, sold right by all the baking ingredients...and I used the 150 gram package!

After the dinner and dessert with my French Friends was complete, they surprised me with a gift.  What?  This was a Farewell for my friend who was moving to Belgium!?!  Well, we both got a gift, which was really unnecessary for me, but now I have a sweet reminder of their fellowship!

Gien Pottery is well known here.  (I wrote about a visit with my parents to Gien back last Fall.)  They make beautiful, expensive pottery.  I hadn't known that they did a line specifically for the city of Orléans. Now that's cool!  And so nice for me, since I've gotten to spend a year of my life here, enjoying the experience of France, and making new friends!

I hope you will give the Almond Paste Cake a try...and share it with your friends!

By the way, I just caught Dr. J having one of the last few pieces for Breakfast! Don't be surprised if this happens at your house...

As always, have a "Jewel" of a Day!

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