- 75g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 175g ground almonds
- 40g plain flour, sifted
- For the topping
- 75g unsalted butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g liquid glucose
- 125g flaked almonds
- For dipping
- 200g dark chocolate, melted
- You will need
- a 20cm square tin, base and sides lined with baking parchment.
Heat oven to 180C, gas 4. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until creamy and pale in colour. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, whisking continuously. Add the almond extract and beat again. Wit a large metal spoon, fold in the ground almonds and flour until thoroughly combined. Scrape into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown.
Whilst the cake is baking, place all the topping ingredients in a saucepan with 3tbsp cold water. Heat the mixture gently to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and boil the mixture for approximately 5 minutes until thick.
Remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn out the cake, reline the tin with the baking parchment and place the inverted cake back in the tin. Pour over the topping an spread gently so that you have an even layer. Place the tin back in the oven and cook for a further five minutes or until the topping is a rich, golden brown. Watch the cake carefully at this stage as the topping can burn easily. Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes.
Place a sheet of baking parchment on a flat baking tray and invert the cake again so that the flaked almond topping is on the base. Place another square of baking parchment on the exposed surface and place another flat tray on top. Place for weights on the tray, such as tins of beans and leave for a minimum of four hours. This stage is crucial, as the weights help to press the flaked almond topping onto the cake for a mirror finish.
Cut the cake into 30 even sized squares with a sharp knife, keeping the edges as neat as possible.
Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and dip each square up to the line of the almonds and leave to set on baking parchment. This sweetmeat is delicious with or without the chocolate.