Almond Cake with Basil Infused Whipped Cream

I came across this almond cake recipe from Food 52 the other day after lunch. Then I thought about the beautiful peaches and blueberries in my refrigerator. And here it goes, a very simple, elegant and delicious cake that takes no time to put together!

The original recipe yields for a large sheet cake. I just halved the amount of the ingredients and made a single layer round cake. The cake is light and delicate. The almond extract and the almond meal give the cake the right amount of almond fragrance.

I would go with the boiled frosting next time as I’ve never tried that before and it sounds really interesting. This time I just went with my go-to whipped cream topping, but with a little twist. My whipped cream was infused with fresh basil from my backyard. And it is such a delightful pairing with the almond cake and fresh peaches.

A funny note: I just tried a basil infused ice cream yesterday which I didn’t enjoy because the basil flavour was too overwhelming. And I’m confident enough to confirm that a quarter cup of basil leaves is the perfect amount to infuse a cup of heavy cream. Well, unless you are really crazy about basil, otherwise take it easy!

Ingredients (an 8-inch cake):
Almond Scented Cake
1 cup and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons almond meal
Basil Infused Whipped Cream Topping
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powder sugar
1 cup fresh berries and peaches

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and almond extract. mix until incorporated.
With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture, then milk, and the remaining flour mixture. Mix until combined.
Fold in the almond meal.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake centre comes out clean. Let cool.
To prepare the whipped cream, heat cream over medium heat in a small saucepan, until it just starts to simmer.
Remove from heat and toss in the basil leaves.
Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the cream through a strainer into a small bowl to remove the basil.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours until it’s chilled.
Whisk the whipping cream and the powdered sugar until it holds firm peaks. Gently spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the cake.
Garnish with fresh fruits and basil leaves.

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