First thing, be sure to buy almond paste, not marzipan.There is a difference. And no on almond butter as a substitute as well, I'm seeing that as a question in the comments as well. This recipe makes ~3 cups of cake batter. You can bake one 8-inch cake, or multiple smaller ones. Adjust your baking time accordingly, and use a cake tester to decide when to pull the cake(s) from the oven - smaller cakes take less time to bake. Pictured above: one 6-inch cake made with ~2 cups/ 480ml of batter + 2 tiny cakes made with ~1/2 cup / 120ml batter each.
butter for greasing pan(s)
14 ounces / 1 1/2 cups / 2 tubes of almond paste
5 large eggs, whisked
1 3/4 ounces / 45 g / scant 1/4 cup organic cornstarch
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
6 tablespoons / 1/3 cup / 80 ml unsalted butter, melted & cooled
scant 1 cup / 5 oz organic confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
the contents of 1/2 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons toasted almond slices
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the center. Butter an 8-inch pan generously, or, alternately, you can use multiple smaller pans for a cluster of tiny cakes (see head notes).
Break the almond paste into a food processor and give a few quick pulses, you're looking for medium-sized, pebbly pieces. Add the eggs, and process until smooth. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and salt, pulse a few times, then add the butter. Blend one more time, before transferring to the prepared pan(s). Bake until deeply golden and set in the center, you're going to want to test this cake - a toothpick should come out clean before pulling it from the oven - for tiny cakes, this is usually 40-45 minutes, longer for larger cakes. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes (very small cakes can be turned out after ~5 minutes), then transfer directly to the cooling rack. Cool complete before frosting.
To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla bean. Keep whisking until the glaze is free of lumps. Flood the top of the cake(s) allowing the glaze to run over the sides, and sprinkle with almond slices.
Makes one 8-inch cake, or multiple smaller cakes.
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