This cake is actually very easy to make and it’s very delicious – light, airy, reasonably sweet, packed with strawberry flavour and a hint of rose that completes the berries beautifully. The almond and yogurt cake is a true find! It is light thanks to the almond meal and not too dry because of yogurt. It also doesn’t have that much of butter, meaning the cake won’t land and sit in your stomach like a heavy lump. This is the kind of cake where you have one slice, then wouldn’t mind another an hour later 🙂
The recipe makes a 4-layer 15 cm round cake or a 3-layer 18 cm round cake.
Recipe by Bea Vo
– 240 g/ 1 c + 2T caster sugar
– grated zest of 1 lemon
– 150 g/ 1 c + 1T all-purpose flour
– 70 g/ ½ c almond meal
– 2 t baking powder
– pinch of salt
– 130 g/ ½ c natural yogurt
– 3 eggs
– 1 t vanilla essence
– 80 ml/ 1/3 c vegetable oil
– 50 g/ 3 T unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 340ºF/ 170ºC.
Put the sugar, lemon zest, both flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs and extract until combined. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a spoon until just combined. Fold in the oil and butter.
Divide the batter between two 15 cm round cake pans (or if you make a 18 cm cake, then 1 pan is enough). Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 min., depending on the size of your pan. The cake must brown at the top a little and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle should come out with almost no crumbs attached.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 min., then run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cakes and remove them from the pans. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let them cool completely, not less than 1 hour.
When the cakes are cool, if needed, level the domed tops with a serrated knife and slice each cake into two even layers horizontally (if you have a 18 cm cake, slice it into 3 even layers).
– 230 g strawberries, cut into cubes
– 40 g/ 2T sugar
– 2 T strawberry liqueur or water
– 1 T rose water (optional)
– 1 t lemon juice
– 3 g gelatin soaked in 15 ml/ 1 T water
Put strawberries, sugar and liqueur in a small saucepan and set over a medium heat, bring to a boil and let sugar to dissolve. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the contents until it thickens, about 10 min. Stir in the rose water and lemon juice and take the saucepan off the heat. Let cool slightly and stir in the soaked gelatin, making sure it dissolves completely.
– 300 g/ 1½ c sugar 
– 48 ml/ ¼ c water
– 120 g/ 4 egg whites
– pinch cream of tartar
– 20 g/ 1 T sugar 
– 450 g/ 4 c unsalted butter, cut in cubes and softened
– ¼ t rose water (optional)
In a small sauce pan, mix the sugar  and water and set over medium heat, let the sugar melt and cook the syrup to 250ºF/ 120ºC.
In the meantime, start whisking the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar  with an electric mixer, gradually increasing the speed.
When the sugar syrup is ready, carefully pour it in a steady stream to the bowl with the egg whites, running the mixer on high. The meringue will be thick and shiny. Continue beating on high until it cools down to room temperature.
Start adding butter a little at a time, still running the mixer, until the buttercream is thick. Lastly, add the rose water, if using.
– food colourings (optional)
Place the first almond cake layer on a serving platter. Tuck parchment paper squares under the cake to keep the dish clean. After the cake is assembled and decorated, you can remove them.
Put some buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe an even layer of buttercream over the almond cake layer, start from the centre and work toward the outer edge. With a pallet knife, level the buttercream. Pipe a circular border of buttercream around the cake edge. This will stop the coulis from seeping out when you build your further cake layers.
Fill the inside of the border with 1/3 of the strawberry coulis. Place the next almond cake layer on top and repeat the sequence, forming 4 layers.
Spread a thin “crumb” coat of buttercream all around the cake top and sides and place it in the fridge for 10-15 min to set. Spread a thicker layer of buttercream all around the cake and level it down with a pallet knife. Return the cake to the fridge while making the buttercream roses.
You actually may want to decorate your cake as you like. I’ve made roses using leftover buttercream.
Divide the remaining buttercream in 4 portions: 3 equal ones and 1 a little smaller. Add some red/ burgundy food colouring to each of the 3 equal parts of buttercream, making 3 different shades. To the smaller portion of buttercream add green food colouring.
To pipe roses, I used a Wilton tip #104. I’ve started with a darker shade and finished with the lightest one. Each rose was first piped on a special nail with a wide flat top, then removed with scissors (cut underneath) and transferred to a plate lined with some parchment paper. The plate was then kept in the fridge until required.
The buds were made using the same technique – first red/ burgundy shade, then green shade around it.
Arrange the buttercream roses and buds on the top of the cake. Put the remaining green buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton tip #70. Pipe leaves around the flowers.