Simple Impressive Dessert: French Almond Cake with Berries and Cream

This dessert will impress your guests, but is simple to make.  There's only one trick -- make all parts ahead of time but don't assemble the cake until just before you're ready to eat it. And then eat the whole thing.

Almond Cake
  • 4 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Topping
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Sweetened Berries - use whatever berries you have, but here's an example of what you could use.
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  1. Prepare Almond Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom or nonstick 9-inch round cake pan. (If using tart pan, wrap outside of pan with foil to prevent leakage.)
  2. Crumble almond paste into food processor. Add granulated sugar and pulse until almond paste is finely ground. Add butter and process until smooth. Add eggs and process until combined, occasionally stopping processor and scraping side of bowl. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and process until blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until cake is browned and top springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Cool cake completely in tart pan on wire rack. If using cake pan, cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.  
  4. Cream Cheese Topping: In medium bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until blended. Add cream and extract; increase speed to high and beat mixture until thick and fluffy. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Sweetened Berries: In large bowl, combine berries and confectioners' sugar. Toss gently to combine. Let stand 10 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and flavors to blend.
  6. Assemble cake: Remove tart pan side from cake. With knife or metal spatula, loosen cake from pan bottom. Place cake on serving plate. Spread jam on top of cake to 1/2 inch from edge. Spoon cream topping over jam, spreading to cover. Spoon berry mixture over cream. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Good Housekeeping.