Simple, rich almond cake makes a sophisticated and delicately sweet dessert, but traditional European versions tend to be heavy and dense. For a slightly cakier version with plenty of nutty flavor, we swapped out the usual almond paste for toasted blanched sliced almonds (we disliked the slight bitterness imparted by skin-on almonds) and added a bit of almond extract for extra depth.
A generous amount of lemon zest provided subtle brightness. For an even lighter crumb, we increased the flour slightly and added baking powder_an untraditional ingredient_to ensure proper rise.
Making the batter in a food processor broke down some of the protein structure in the eggs, ensuring that the cake had a level, not domed, top, which was especially important for this unfrosted dessert. We swapped some butter for oil and lowered the oven temperature to produce an evenly baked, moist cake.
For a crunchy finishing touch, we topped the cake with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of lemon-infused sugar. If you can’t find blanched sliced almonds, grind slivered almonds for the batter and use unblanched sliced almonds for the topping.
ITALIAN ALMOND CAKE
Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 F. Grease 9 inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Pulse 1 1/2 cups almonds, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in food processor until almonds are finely ground, 5 to 10 pulses. Transfer almond mixture to bowl.
Process eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and almond extract in now-empty processor until very pale yellow, about 2 minutes. With processor running, add melted butter and oil in steady stream until incorporated. Add almond mixture and pulse to combine, 4 to 5 pulses. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Using your fingers, combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest in small bowl until fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds. Sprinkle top of cake evenly with remaining 1/3 cup almonds followed by sugar-zest mixture.
Bake until center of cake is set and bounces back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, rotating pan after 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run thin knife around edge of pan. Invert cake onto greased wire rack, discarding parchment, and reinvert cake onto second wire rack. Let cake cool completely on rack, about 2 hours, before serving. (Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.)
Nutrition information per serving: 485 calories; calories from fat; 30 g fat (7 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 127 mg cholesterol; 287 mg sodium; 50 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 35 g sugar; 10 g protein.
Our eating habits change even if not completely but slightly when the season changes. Now that winter is gone and summer is here, we tend to consume more of freezers/chillers, iced tea, ice-cream and light snacks/meals instead of high calorie meals like biriyani, khichuri and hot drinks.There are many restaurants/cafes famous for their drinks and light meals like King’s Confectionery,Coffee World, Sausly’s, Nerdy Beans Coffee Haus, North End Coffee Roasters and few others.Today’s article is about Tabaq Coffee.
The first Tabaq Coffee opened in the Anannya Shopping Complex of Baridhara DOHS. It was one of the first ones with a unique interior with seating arrangement for no more than 12 people at once. To my surprise, the café kept books, board games and also card games like UNO. It expanded in the year 2013 and currently there are two other outlets in Jamuna Future Park and Gulshan 1. Their interior is very cosy and indeed a decent place to chill or even have a quick meeting. In addition to this, there is also one inside the GP House. Tabaq is renowned for its strong flavoured coffees, shakers, freezers, sandwiches, wraps and desserts.
Among the 3 or 4 types of sandwiches available, I love their Chicken Cheese Grilled Pizza Sandwich the most. Served with chips, these sandwiches are not only filling but delicious in taste. Always better to have the sandwiches as soon as they serve it to get the taste of the melted cheese in those.Not only that, you get the exact flavour of pizza in a sandwich. Innovative idea, isn’t it ? You also have the option of choosing brown bread for your sandwich.
Chicken Cheese Pizza Sandwich
They have a wide range of frozen drinks of flavours Blueberry, Mango, Strawberry and Peach. My all-time favourite is the Peach Freezer. Very refreshing frozen drink unlike the ones served in other places where all you get is crushed ice or lack of the flavour in the drink. Among their coffee, my favourite is the Hazelnut Latte. I always order the Cheesecake Brownie to complement the latte.
It is also a wonderful place to relax after work. You will feel recharged as soon as you enter Tabaq Coffee. There is a special charm in that place☺
I am a huge fan of potatoes aka aloo. It is okay for me to live without rice a day but not a day goes without me eating aloo. I am very particular when it comes to french fries, potato wedges, mashed potatoes and few other dishes made of potatoes. It hasn't been that long that I discovered this dish named Poutine. Ever heard of it ? The first time I tried it was in a lounge which is now closed. Later I found that dish unexpectedly in a beautiful cafe in Dhanmondi named Cilantro.
Cilantro, a lovely cafe, serves a variety of cuisines with authentic taste. It still is a hotspot in Dhanmondi for hangouts with friends. Decorated with mason jars outside and inside the cafe, the cafe looks gorgeous as they are lit up in the evening. The setup will literally remind you of the lyrics 'lights will guide you home'. The place is popular for its drinks, Mexican food and unique platters for 2 and even 4 people.
Coming back to Poutine, what is it ? It is a French – Canadian dish which was first discovered in 1957 in the Quebec City in Canada. It is culturally marked as Quebec’s much-loved junk food. The dish is basically French fries, cheese and gravy. The first time I tried this dish in the lounge, it was mainly French fries with meat sauce above. Later on, I researched on how an authentic poutine should be like. The one I tried in Cilantro simply replicated that. It was french fries (but shaped mostly as potato wedges), crispy on the outside but softer in the inside with melted cheese curds on top and gravy, which is usually meat sauce or sometimes minced meat like chicken or beef. There are many variations of the dish and this can be simply done by adding toppings like mushrooms, sausages, tomatoes and capsicums. If you are a vegetarian, you can order this without the meat sauce or minced meat.
‘Poutine with minced meat’
‘Poutine for Vegetarians’
As much as it tastes extremely delicious, do keep in mind that it is extremely high in terms of calories. I tend to look forward to having poutine as my cheat meal but also make sure I burn the calories. Recently a few other restaurants also serve poutine, one of them being the famous Mad Chef. Stay tuned for that review.
Not too long ago, citizens of Bangladesh were frustrated with the absence of food delivery services in the country. However, the situation has changed drastically over a short span of time and Dhakaites, specially, couldn’t be happier! Such a takeout/delivery-based restaurant is Dough on the Go (DOTG). DOTG was initiated by 4 food lovers with a passion to create something truly different for the tastebuds. Even though they started out commercially around December of last year, they had been experimenting with the recipes for about 4 months.
Ask me to pick between burgers and pizzas, I'd easily get myself the triangular slices of heaven that come in cardboard boxes! I had stumbled upon their Facebook page around the time they started their business and have been a convert ever since.
Their menu consists of 5 totally different flavors of pizza and wings. What sets their pizza apart is the thin and soft dough. To many, scorched air bubbles are signs of imperfections in a pizza. However, they are signs that the dough was handled with care. Besides, if you look up pizza pictures online, most of the pizzas look quite similar to what they are serving their customers.
After having tried ALL the flavors, I have come down with my personal favorite- PESTO pizza. This 12 inch pizza is made with a base sauce of walnuts, basil, and tomatoes. On top of the sauce, quality chunks of Italian sausages and basil leaves are spread which altogether provides quite a unique taste. My 2nd favorite is the classic Marinara. With a simple chef’s special marinara sauce topped with parmesan, this whole pizza is devoured by me in minutes.
The spicy wings with the garlic dip has to be ordered off the menu (No idea why it hasn’t been added yet). It comes in 8 pieces in a foil container. I absolutely loved myself wings which have a crispy skin so at first few bites, I was slightly disappointed at how soft/soggy (?) it tasted. But the more I ate, I had realized that there was a suspicious ingredient in it for which I couldn’t stop craving for some more. And the ingredient was BUTTER! Garlic and butter are a match made in heaven and I absolutely loved how the combination worked here as well. A lot of you out there might be disappointed with the crisp (as I was), but we have got to remember that fried food tastes far different than baked ones.
I didn’t really consider myself a sweet tooth until I had a Taro (kochu) frozen yoghurt at YoBerries a few years back. Sadly, the place shut down leaving me quite bummed out about the whole situation. Ever since, I jump at every opportunity I get to try out new dessert places to find a new addiction.
Gelatofix opened up very recently at Chef’s Table, Gulshan. It’s a Singapore-based Italian gelato coffee chain which usually is attached with PastaMania, an authentic Italian, casual dining restaurant. While I haven’t had the opportunity of trying PastaMania yet because I always end up ordering some sushi or Thai food whenever I am at Chef’s Table, I definitely had to try Gelatofix to see what the hype is all about amongst Instagram food-bloggers.
To start off, I love ice cream and dessert shops where you can taste a flavor before committing to a whole scoop. We did exactly that and finally settled for the Rocky Almond Parfait from the Parfait section and two different ones from the Magic Boxx section: Nutty Brownie Toast and Pistachio Bronte Toast. Visually, I was awed by the beautiful presentation of all 3 items. They were colorful, big on quantity, and looked unlike any dessert items I’ve tried in Bangladesh. The parfaits are desserts served in layers usually with whipped cream, fruits, and a custard like puree. The Rocky Almond Parfait consisted of 2 scoops of Mascarpone and Piedmonte Hazelnut gelato, marshmallow, almond slices, and creamy sponge cake with whipped cream to top it all off.
Of course, the beautiful layering made me shriek inside like a kid and I could simply not wait to dig in. I made sure I got a spoonful of everything so that I could taste the whole package. Lo and behold, I was quite disappointed just because of the cake. The cake tasted like more of a fudge brownie which without the gelato was quite dry instead of creamy as they claim. The almond slices gave it an extra texture which was quite nice but not enough to win me over. I quickly moved on to the Magic Boxx so that they don’t melt before I got to enjoy the offerings.
I absolutely loved the concept! The buttery sweet toasted loaves were a delight to eat with the gelatos or just the Giandula Chocolate sauce. You will instantly get a premium feeling by just the taste of the whole item. We got the Pistachio, Knam Dark Chocolate, and Mascarpone (quite the hit flavor) out of which the dark chocolate was declared the least favorite at our table. Bits of cookies, nuts, strawberries, and peanut butter sauce had sealed the deal for us. But it was intensely bitter to stomach and we wound up finishing the Nutty Brownie Toast with just the sauce and mascarpone. The Pistaschio Bronte Toast was sweet and salty which goes so well in desserts such as a chocolate chip cookie!
We went for the small Magic Boxx and still felt that it could feed upto 2. Note for future self: avoid the Dark Chocolate, Mascarpone goes well with all their desserts, ask for extra peanut butter sauce, and don’t over-order.
By: Ifreet Taheea