Whoever has even ever HEARD of a Torta di Mandorle. And I have no clue what it means. Nor do I know what language it is. And I should’ve taken it as a “sign” …. when I spilled a cup of coffee all over the recipe…. perhaps this wasn’t that great of an idea. But I had purchased the needed ingredients….. 14 ounces of almonds plus cake flour….. so all systems were GO. And thus I proceeded!
Step one…. toast those 14 ounces of almonds. I was cautioned not to burn them and thus I was quite careful. I even set the timer. Then after they cooled, those 14 ounces of toasted nuts were to be ground up into almond flour. Seriously? I might not have attempted this recipe, had I read it all the way through. I like nuts, but I kinda like ’em to crunch…. not be ground into a powder! But alas, America’s Test Kitchen surely knows best. So I toasted, I cooled, I pulverized.
Things came together pretty easily and I poured the batter into my springform pan and gently eased it into my pre-heated, 350-degree oven. (Little did I know that soon none of that “gentleness” would matter.)
While the Torta di Mandorle baked, I proceeded to degrease my spaghetti sauce. I was having a family supper and while Carl and I can slurp down a little extra grease with the best of ’em, I thought perhaps our guests might find that rather unappetizing, thus I was really throwing myself into this degreasing process. Perhaps a bit too much so. As I was twisting and turning that spoon (and obviously my body??) suddenly I thought ….”Is something burning! What’s that smell? What could possibly be burning? Did I splash sauce on the burner?” And then all of a sudden I looked at the oven dial…….
YIKES! MY CAKE!!! Obviously my plenteous belly had accidentally turned the heat up to 450 degrees!!!
BURNED! My first thought was “pick it off QUICK, before the burnt taste seeps down!” Honestly, it looked like a mouse had tromped around on top of my once delicate Torta di Mandorle. (And I had been worried about overly toasted almonds??? Seriously) Suddenly a greasy spaghetti sauce was the least of my problems. Do you know how expensive almonds are? I HAD to salvage this Torta!
So I continued picking, all the while plotting how I could cover this thing up. It was suppose to be served plain, but I needed something. Anything. Almonds and peanut butter? nah. Almonds and fudge sauce? no. Apple Butter? yech. And then I spotted it….. in the back of my ‘frig….a slightly expired carton of heavy cream. How lovely….. crème Chantilly! But could I pull this off? I was running out of time! I popped that hot cake in the freezer to cool it down so it wouldn’t melt the crème. I poured that “slightly expired” cream in the mixer and that’s when the magic took place.
But would it taste burnt? Would they know? How discerning would be the palates around my table?
I pulled it off! It was a FAIL, and then a COVER-UP. But Torta di Mandorle was amazingly restored. Salvaged! Matthew even went back for seconds……
They need never know…….
Bottom line: Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (cause obviously you can’t trust a baker or chef!)