Almond Chiffon Cake

There are several perks to writing a food blog, the best being the excuse to have delicious cakes in the house at all times. The only person who has an issue with this is my personal trainer, but I just remind him what job security it is for him. I also have an extensive (300+) cookbook library that I attribute to “research” when my husband asks where we will put them all, now that my book shelves are over flowing. Then there are the products companies send me to critique and review. I have received everything from peanut flour (which I adore) to a confectionery funnel (which is for portion control of pancakes and other runny stuff. Really, you have to make your pancakes the exact same size???). I will never review or endorse a product I don’t actually love and find value in. As I mentioned, my shelves are overflowing and I need to make room for several books that I got for Christmas. So, I’m going to do a series of giveaways to make space. Admittedly this first giveaway doesn’t take up any room at all, but it was an awfully generous gift from Williams-Sonoma and I think you should have it. They sent me two gift cards. One for $50 and the other for $100. They are yours if you leave a comment about the strangest piece of kitchen equipment you own. Do you ever use it? I will pick two random winners next week. The first pick will get a $100 gift card and the second a $50 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!

Now back to the baking…this cake was inspired by my trip to Italy this past summer. The man who owned the home we rented introduced me to his favorite cookie, the ricciarelli. They are made from almond paste and egg whites baked into little rich clouds and dusted with pure white confectioners’ sugar. I was completely addicted to them after the first bite. They are available all over Tuscany and when baked fresh you want to sing their praises. The stale ones you buy in the tin are to be avoided and unfortunately that is what most of us have tried. After writing this description I realize I need to create and post a recipe for the actual cookie, but for now I have a cake that it inspired. It is light and spongy, but at the same time decadent because of the almond paste. The cake is great on its own with a cup of coffee for breakfast or with ice cream or coulis for dessert.

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