Friday, March 29, 2013

Zesty Almond Cakes!


A few weeks back, I was given a task to set up a tasting to show case Don Julio 1942 tequila. I’ve never been much of a drinker and though I work in the industry there is still much to be learned and when it comes to tequila, I’m a complete novice at best.
 
When I was first handed the task, I was so excited, I wanted to be creative, to have different types of drinks that I can mix with it, etc. Well that clearly shows how little I know of Don Julio 1942 as you will find out later. I’ve known that this is no ordinary tequila. It’s elegant and classic, a contender to all good tequilas out in the market. I’ve only had 1942 in a margarita. My first margarita in fact! After that, no margarita can compare but outside of those 2 simple facts, knowledge ends.

Turns out after hours of searching, the best way to enjoy Don Julio 1942 is JUST Don Julio 1942, neat. It’s also interesting to note that it should be served in a flute shaped glass, and sipped, much like wine. Who knew tequila was so fancy!

So much for being creative, all my mixed drinks ideas out the window…then I made a discovery. During my mad search, I came across something very intriguing, food pairings! Now we’ve all heard of wine and food pairing but very rarely do you come across spirits and food pairing, apparently there is a whole world to be discovered. Creativity not at a lost after all!


Well if that isn’t a calling, I don’t know what is. Keep the tequila simple but no one ever said it couldn’t have a partner. That’s when my Zesty Almond Cakes were born! I'm so happy they turned out well. Originally I wanted to make one of the recipes I found on the Don Julio website, specifically, the almond fritters, but glancing it over I found out frying was involved...which means super high in calories which nowadays really turn people off. I wanted people to taste the tequila and try my food, so in a situation where recipes don't meet my demands what do I do...? Make my own with their ingredient list as guidence of course! 

The flavor of these cakes are fantastic, the citrus fruits from the lemon and orange zests shines straight through but never over powering. Light almond flavors and paired with the tequila was magical. The tequila is so smooth with hints of caramel, vanilla, and tropical fruits. Its definitely a tequila worth investing in if you're a tequila fan. Though the tequila is on the pricer side ($130 at Bevmo), you are definitely paying for quality. As for the name 1942, that is to pay tribute to the year Don Julio Gonzales started his journey in tequila crafting. 

Cakes turned out well, tasting went great! Bon Appetite!

Zesty Almond Cakes


Adapted from: almond fritters
Makes 36 mini cupcakes
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup cream or milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 3 egg whites
  • 5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of ½ lemon and ½ orange (approx ¼ cup)
Side note: rinds and zests are the same thing
Procedures:
  1. Mix almond flour, cream, and sugar
  2. Slowly incorporate yolks, salt, rinds, juice, extract, and flour into the almond mixture.
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks and fold into the almond batter
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Insert toothpick to test, if it comes out clean, the cakes are done.

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