The last few days have been gloriously sunny in Paris. It's been so nice and uplifting to throw open the shutters in the morning to a bright blue sky and rays of sunlight hitting the building. And the evenings have been so warm and balmy, I feel like I'm on holiday. So I haven't really felt like baking, let alone spending time in a warm kitchen, so to ease myself in I thought I'd try out something simple. While I Skyped with a friend in London last night, I made a French Almond Cake (also know as 'Financiers' in finger form - the name comes from the traditional rectangular mould that looks like a bar of gold or according to Wiki, these little almond fingers became very popular in the financial district near the Paris stock exchange - a bit of trivia for you), which is about as simple as they come - staple cake batter, but with added almond powder. So here goes:
120g caster sugar
1/2 packet of backing powder (the French sachets here) or 1tsp
90g ground almonds or almond powder
x1 tbsp milk
x1 tsp vanilla essence
x1 packet flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180g, grease a cake tin with butter and then line it with greaseproof paper. Mix the butter and sugar together (I didn't have to wait long for the butter to soften in this weather), then beat in the eggs. Sift in flour, almond powder, milk and vanilla essence. Empty the mixture into the cake tin and finally sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Et voila!
If you want to be particularly fancy, you can dust icing sugar over the cake.