Tell me anyone who wouldn't love a cake and a flan, together in one dessert? Let's not forget the cuteness of individual portions.
This is a total winner.
A few years ago I experimented with a pumpkin version of this dessert. These couldn't be easier to make, and totally fail proof. Please, just don't ask me how I know that.
I will confess that it took me four takes before I perfected the base recipe to allow the cook to change the flavors to whatever is in season, whatever holiday or whoever requests their favorite sweet.
I know that Valentine's Day is approaching and chocolate is the flavor most associated with that day but I wanted to make one for me, and I love almonds.
Did you know that a one-and-a-half ounce handful of almonds is a leading source of vitamin E and magnesium and offers protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron?
They are also the leading source of monounsaturated fat among America’s most consumed nuts.
Of the 14 grams of total fat found in one ounce of almonds, about 64 percent is monounsaturated. This “good” fat plays a role in helping almonds lower harmful cholesterol just as effectively as expensive drugs, according to a recent study published by the American Heart Association.
And with all that going on, they are also the perfect snack for Diabetics.
For all my almond needs (or any nuts), I have to rave about my newest online foodie site, Nuts.com.
Although it is much more than just nuts, they also have flavored chips for cookies (I bought the mint and lemon!, yes, lemon!), all kinds of flours, and an excellent source for organic, gluten-free and sugar-free products.
The cashews disappeared before I unpacked the box (yes, dear, you are so busted!!).
This month Nuts.com is showcasing the wonderful nut that is the almond. Ready for this? They have over 100 different types of almonds, all on this page. Yes, 118 to be exact. If that's not almond nirvana, I don't know what is.
In their honor (the nuts, not the nutty people..lol), I created this dessert for all you almond lovers out there. Trust me, this is almond goodness to the 10th°.
I used toasted sliced almonds, but you could use chopped chocolate covered almonds instead. I used almond flour in the cake portion and Amaretto in the flan and the syrup.
Instead of the spice cake I used, you could use their recipe for lemon yogurt cake,
which I think would take this to a whole 'nother avenue.
Not into cake? Well, you could make these low carb pancakes to serve in bed or maybe a batch of grain-free cinnamon almond muffins for the whole family? Hey, make them all, with one stop shopping, you will have your goodies in just a few days.
Nuts.com is a family business here in New Jersey, my home state and I love that. If you are into excellent quality foods at a great price with a customer service team above all others, go check them out here.
Now, let's get cooking.......
Almond Spice Flan Cake
makes enough for 8 (1 cup) ramekins or any 2" deep pie or cake pan
* 1 cup dry cake mix (homemade, just omit the wet ingredients), your favorite flavor
* 1/2 cup almond flour
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup unflavored almond milk
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (if making a chocolate cake, use vanilla)
* 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
* 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
* 12 ounces almond milk
* 3 tablespoons Amaretto
* 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese, your favorite
* 1/3 cup light brown sugar
* pinch cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons Amaretto
* 2 tablespoons spiced rum (optional)
* 1 ounce sliced almonds, toasted for 8 minutes
Spray 8 (1 cup) ramekins or pie plate with a release spray.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Place the ramekins or pan in a large roasting pan.
In a small saucepan cook the sugar, Amaretto and cinnamon until it start to foam. Remove from the heat and carefully spoon about 1 tablespoon into each ramekin or all the syrup into the pan.
Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
In a blender make the flan and in a mixer, the cake.
Pour the flan over the syrup to halfway up the side. Spoon the cake mixture up to a full 1" below the rim of the baking dish. Anything more will make the cakes bake over the top. We don't want that.
Depending on the manufacturer and the size of your ramekins, do not be surprised if there is leftover batters. Do not overfill!!
Pour boiling water to halfway up the baking dish, cover with foil that has been sprayed with a release agent and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue baking for another 7-9 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to come to room temperature before unmolding.
Run a knife around the sides and invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with the toasted almonds and whipped topping.
While almond is my favorite nut, here are some other combinations of a flan cake using the same recipe but with different flavor enhancements ....
- Traditional chocolate with almond: same recipe but sub out the spice cake for a chocolate cake mix and vanilla for the almond extract.
- Spice cake with coconut flan: use coconut milk, coconut extract and coconut rum. Toasted coconut and macadamia nuts for garnish.
- White cake with raspberry: white cake mix with vanilla extract. Chambois (raspberry liqueur) or raspberry syrup and chocolate covered almonds for garnish.
- Coffee cocoa cake with hazelnut flan: Add instant espresso to chocolate cake mix and chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish. Hazelnut syrup for flan.
Other ways to enjoy almonds:
They make a great snack, roasted in a salad, or mixed with granola for a breakfast yogurt parfait.
I grind them with some hazelnuts and macadamias and use them as a coating for chicken cutlets or nuggets (the kids will LOVE them!) and there is always that Italian tradition of giving white Jordan almonds at your wedding (five almonds signify 5 wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity).
Enjoy and let me know how it all works out! Oh, and tell the nuts over at Nuts.com I sent you.