Pairings: Butter Almond Cake + Peach Tranquility Tea
A couple weeks ago I went to the Russian River for a weekend of R&R with my mom and sister. We had an amazing Airbnb nestled in the redwoods with really interesting furniture, a giant deck, a hot tub. We read all day in the adirondack chairs. We did facial masks and wore big white robes. And we ate.
If there’s one thing we love to eat, it’s dessert. I decided to bake a delicious butter almond cake for the trip since rich almond-y desserts are high on our list of favorite things. And I decided to pair it with one of my favorite teas this summer, Peach Tranquility by Teavana.
I’m loving this Peach Tranquility tea. It has a lot of flavor for a fruit tea. I find that with some Teavana teas, you need to use more tea than stated to get the full flavor, but I don’t have that issue with this tea. Plus this tea really does taste just like ripe, sweet peaches. It’s described as:
“A peaceful medley of soft peach and sweet pineapple gently falls across your palate, while calming Roman chamomile and lemon verbena shower over you, creating a tranquil treat.”
Peach, pineapple, chamomile… perfect for our relaxing summer getaway.
Okay, now for this cake. This is a butter cake. Like a… “Hello, I have a stick and a half of butter” cake. Which means it’s heavy and rich in a good way. It melts in your mouth so that all you can taste is its delicious buttery, almondy goodness. I love how flavorful it is. You only need a small slice — not that you’ll necessarily stop there.
It's also a super easy cake to throw together, but it leaves a big mark. It's the perfect cake to make when you want to impress but don't have a lot of time.
Also! Don’t skip the sea salt on top. I don’t know what it is about that sea salt, but it makes a huge difference.
The recipe for this cake came from a book I read and LOVED last summer called “Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home” by Jessica Fechtor. It’s a memoir about a woman who at age 28 had an aneurysm suddenly burst in her brain. The book is about her journey to recovery in the kitchen and the restorative power of cooking and baking. I highly recommend it.
I’ve also highlighted half the book because she has so many outstanding lines. One of my favorites that seemed particularly relevant for this ladies trip is:
“You bake to share. Baking is an act of generosity, and thereby an act of freedom, since to be generous is to be free from the smallness of thinking only of yourself.”
Jessica Fechtor, Stir
Ugh. Love that line.
I could leave a page full of quotes here from that book but I’ll spare you and simply say: The book is worth a read. The cake is worth a try.
We ate that cake easily in our 3 days there.
I paired it with the Peach Tranquility tea because the fruity tea helps to cut some of the richness of the cake. Plus the peach tea combining in your mouth with the buttery cake tastes like fresh buttery peach cobbler. Yum.
If you still have delicious peaches in season, they’re also a delicious addition. We happened to pick up some perfect ones so I can highly recommend making this before stone fruits are gone.
Butter Almond Cake
Recipe from Jessica Fechtor's memoir, "Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home". Originally titled "Marcella's Butter Almond Cake" in the book.
Lovely little things:
- I celebrated my 28th birthday a few days ago (woo!). Got a free mini version of this Rose Face Mask from Sephora when I went in which I’m really liking. I love doing masks but I can’t do my charcoal mask all the time so this is a nice hydrating mask that I can use more frequently.
We finally organized our baking supplies into clear containers and I’m really happy I found these OXO Pop Containers. Reasons to love: 1) They’re square so they fit into the cabinets easily, 2) They’re clear so I can see what’s in them, 3) You can open the container with one hand and scoop with the other. So helpful. I highly recommend.
- In Memory of Bread by Paul Graham