Almond Joy

I was 13 years old in the late 1960s when the Galloping Gourmet was a television cooking show hit. It wasn't until twenty years later, not long after Sheila Lukins and The Silver Palate Cookbook got me hooked on cooking, that I discovered Graham Kerr and his Minimax series. He taught me that all it takes is a little experimenting with a traditional recipe to make it better for you without losing the traditional flavor.

It’s not a given that I adjust a recipe to be healthier. But a pound of butter in one loaf cake always seemed a bit over the top when elevated cholesterol levels run in the family. And who doesn’t love pound cake? I read about a group of cooks who delivered homemade pound cakes to families left homeless and devastated in the aftermath of Katrina. Welcome gifts for hungry folks.

After trying lemon pound cake, chocolate pound cake (using cocoa powder to keep the fat content down) and plain Jane vanilla pound cake, my family's all-time favorite is almond pound cake. As for Graham Kerr, he’s just turned 76 years old in January and he’s still inspiring cooks to Do Yourself a Flavor with special features on radio and television for the National Cancer Institute’s 5 a Day program.

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
½ cup egg substitute, or 2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray one 8 x 4 inch loaf pan generously with your favorite cooking spray/flour.

Place slivered almonds into a food processor. Use chop mode on high speed to make finely ground almonds. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the almonds in the processor and pulse for a few seconds to blend well. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs whites or egg substitute and beat well. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts and yogurt until well blended, about one minute on medium high.

butter/egg mixture to processor and process batter for about one minute. If using a mixer, beat on low speed for one minute, then beat on medium high for another minute. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake on a rack centered in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan and placing it to cool thoroughly on a wire rack, about an hour. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


  1. this reminds me of the book one of my book clubs read a couple years ago, "EAT CAKE" by Jeannie Ray. When the main character gets stressed, she bakes. And her "happy place" is the center of a giant bundt cake.

    It is more timely now than when i read it, as the characters are going through a lay off in the family, etc.... and ....... a cottage business of cakes evolves ...... not to ruin it.

    i traveled yesterday, and when i got on the plane last night, i have that same feeling i had when i read your lamb bbq posting. and i wanted ...... mashed potates, slow cooked meat ..........

    not ....... snacks. but it was too late.

  2. @bw,m ... comfort foods. sunuggle up on the couch and watch an old movie on TV later food. know the feeling well, my friend.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Grape Infused Vodka Update

Seasonal Surprises: Savory Blueberry Chutney

Founding Father Foodie: Thomas Jefferson and French Cuisine