Thanks to Chris Willging, I made an almond cake using Marcella's recipe from Essentials (see below for recipe and photo). Quick backstory: I have been going nuts buying strawberries, and when I have a basket that may not be the sweetest, I like to macerate them w/ sugar, balsamic, and black pepper. Fine to eat plain, but I was looking for a cake that would match well w/ them.
So I made the cake this past weekend. So easy to make; it was probably in the oven in about 15 min. after I started! This includes whipping the whites by hand...any way to burn a few calories before stuffing my face w/ cake! :-D Something to note is that mine was done in 45 min. instead of 60 min., and my oven thermometer was steady at the requisite 350F the whole time.
I always seem to modify recipes so how I strayed: used orange zest instead of lemon, 3 TB semolina and 3 TB regular flour instead of 6 TB regular flour, and greased pan w/ mild EVOO instead of butter.
Overall, the cake was very tasty. You have to really like almonds and some coarseness in your cake to like this one. I may use all regular flour next time and see if there's a difference. On the crumbly side since no fat added except natural oils from almond. The exterior had the airy crackled appearance of French macarons, and the browned edges actually had the wonderful chew found in these cookies. Little on the sweet side, but strawberries helped to cut this.
Next time: Will def. make this again. Will use called for lemon zest instead of orange, as I think it needs the "brightness" of lemon zest. Will cut out 1/3 c. sugar in cake, but will make a simple syrup to baste on warm cake after it comes out of oven.
Any thoughts on how this might work w/ pistachios? Other nuts?