This is a classic rich, sweet almond cake reinvented and simplified. It starts with whole almonds in the food processor, and two minutes later, you have batter. The cake is hard to stay away from: it’s sophisticated enough to serve for dessert with pureed raspberries or sliced fresh strawberries, plums, or nectarines, but it’s difficult not to nibble on it throughout the day if you leave it on the counter. Wrapped in cellophane or presented in a pretty tin, this cake is a fine holiday hostess gift. For the best flavor and texture, make this a day ahead.
Equipment: An 8 by 2-inch round cake pan
For almond cake with crunchy crust: