Citrus Tea Cake
For the cake:
- 3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup almond paste
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 20 Tbs. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut
into small pieces
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- 5 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
For the glaze:
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt® pan; tap out excess flour.
To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the almond paste on low speed until pea-size crumbs form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium, gradually add the granulated sugar and beat until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and beat, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of bowl. Add the lemon and lime zest and continue beating, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high, add the eggs one at a time and continue beating, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is just blended.
Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a bowl, whisk together the butter, lemon juice, lime juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth.
Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Serves 16.
Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle Books, 2000).