This almond cake traditionally called “pain de Gênes” is made with (raw) 60% almond paste is very moist and has a delicate taste of almond. There are many recipes and this is one of my favorites.

I like to use this cake as a base for entremets, topped with thin crunch. You can use the same recipe to prepare small tea cakes stuffed with fresh fruits (blueberries, pear, apple or pineapple cubes…) or delicately flavored with citrus zests or vanilla for instance.

Print Recipe
Pain de Genes biscuit
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 2 cakes
Calories 138 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Sieve
  • Food processor with S-blade
  • Stand mixer with whip
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • 2 round baking pans (20cm diameter, minimum 4cm height)
  • Basting brush

Ingredients
  

  • 235 g Almond powder
  • 135 g Icing sugar
  • 30 g Egg whites Approx. the white of one egg
  • 200 g Eggs Around 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 g Table salt
  • 100 g Butter
  • 25 g Flour

Instructions
 

  • Roast the almond powder at 150°C for 10 minutes. Let it cool.
  • Bring the eggs to room temperature.
  • Prepare the almond paste (if not ready) by mixing the egg whites, roasted almond powder and icing sugar.
  • Preheat the oven at 165°C.
  • Prepare a double boiler (Bain-Marie) large enough to contain the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Sieve the flour.
  • Place the almond paste with the eggs in the bowl of the food processor equipped with the S-blade.
  • Mix until combined then transfer them into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Heat the mixture in the double boiler until reaching 55°C.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter at 50°C. Add the salt.
  • Whip it (using the stand mixer) at high speed for 10 minutes. This will allow the cake to be airy and light.
  • The mixture will reach the ribbon stage, i.e. when you lift the whisk/spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon that will hold its shape for a while.
  • In order to add the butter and the flour to the batter without "breaking" it, I prefer to add a portion of the batter to each of the butter and the flour separately, then combine with the rest of the batter.
  • Add 3 to 4 spoons of the almond paste and eggs mixture to the melted butter.
  • Whisk energically until perfectly combined.
  • Add 3 to 4 spoons of the almond paste and eggs mixture to the flour. Use the spatula to fold the flour into the batter.
  • Finally fold gently the two mixtures (the one with the flour, the one with the butter) to the rest of the batter using the spatula.
  • Grease the 2 baking pans with melted butter using a basting brush. Place them in the fridge for the butter to set, then flour them.
  • Divide the batter in 2 and pour it evenly into the baking pans.
  • Bake for 15 minutes (check the doneness with a toothpick it has to come out clean). Watch the color of the cake it should be light golden.
Keyword Almond, Batter, Essentials, Sponge

Additional comments

The batter of this cake has to be baked as soon as it’s ready. It’s not possible to freeze it raw. But once cooked, you can wrap the cakes with cling wrap and place them in an airtight box and freeze them for up to 2 months.

If your almond paste is ready, you just need to bring 400gr of it to room temperature (you can use the microwave for a few seconds at 400/600W).

I prefer to use 60% almond paste instead of 50% to have a stronger almond taste.

If you chose to prepare small teacakes, bake them at 160°C for 10 minutes and check their doneness.

You can flavor this cake by infusing vanilla in the butter, or adding a pinch of grated Tonka bean, or citrus zests (lemon, green lemon, orange, clementine…), or soluble coffee (to be mixed with the almond paste and the eggs)… 

You can as well punch the cake once cooled with hot syrup.

This cake is so delicate and yummy, you can make very simple desserts out of it by spreading a fruit confit or a light ganache, or piping a mascarpone chantilly on top of it… 

Bon appétit!