Cretan Almond Cake

Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

My Mom got this recipe from a Greek neighbor a bazillion years ago, and it’s my absolute favorite! I like a nice lemon tea cake, or a wild blueberry cake, but it you put me in the same room with one of these, don’t turn your back if you plan to have any … cuz it’ll be gone!!

The original recipe called for baking it in a 16×11″ pan or a 14″ round at 350 for 45″, but I’ve always had it in loaf form, so I adjusted the time to about 1’15”.

1c butter
2 1/2 c sugar
7 eggs, separated
1 1/2 t almond extract
2 t vanilla
3 c sifted flour
1 T baking powder
1 c milk
1 1/2 c almonds, chopped
1 t salt
Zweiback toast – crushed
Cooking Spray

I am apparently getting old, because you used to be able to find Zweiback Toast in the baby aisle of any grocery store. That seems not to be the case anymore. I grew up using the Nabisco Zweiback, but after an exhaustive search and admitting defeat, I finally found out they have been discontinued. Figures!  It wasn’t quite the same, but I did manage to find a few other brands at Odd Lots and the Christmas Tree Shops. When I was contemplating giving up my search, I was planning to use crushed biscotti instead, so if you can’t find Zweiback, feel free to experiment.

Go ahead and spray two loaf pans with cooking spray and coat them with whatever crumbs you have decided to use, shaking out any excess.

Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

In a small bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.  

Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe
Cream the butter and sugar for a good 10″ or so. Hopefully you’ve got a stand mixer for this – makes life sooooo much easier!  Add the egg yolks, milk, almond extract, and vanilla, then add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until nicely blended.  

If you are using a stand mixer and only have one bowl, go ahead and pour the batter into a big bowl, stir in 1 c of the the almond pieces, and wash out the mixer bowl … it’s time to whip some whites.

Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe

OK, back to the stand mixer … whip your egg whites until stiff, then gently fold them into the batter and pour into your prepared loaf pans.

Sprinkle the tops with the remaining chopped almond pieces and bake at 350 for about 1’15”. I haven’t actually tried this yet, but I read a great tip recently. If you want to test the center of a loaf cake, and a toothpick isn’t long enough, try a strand of dry spaghetti!

As you can see, I served myself a slice on the fancy china.   😉

Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe
Cretan Almond Cake : Hye Thyme Cafe