I love chocolate, but not all good desserts are chocolate. Before assuming that Valentine’s day means chocolate, consider branching out on a more unique, yet classic, route. This delicious almond cake comes courtesy of Amanda Hesser and is an almond-lover’s dream. Instead of leaving it as is, I paired it with a sweet syrup made from fresh cranberries. The syrup is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and I’m obsessed with it. I want it in everything. In fact, I highly recommend making extra and saving it for cocktails because it would seriously up your vodka cranberry game.
The recipe makes two cakes so you can have one for dessert, and then the other with coffee or tea the next morning. Feeling less ambitious? Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month for a scrumptious dessert at a moments notice.
Cranberry Syrup (makes about 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally.
- Continue to cook until mixture begins to bubble and starts to turn a light caramel color.
- Carefully whisk in remaining water and cranberries.
- Simmer over medium/low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes a deep red color (about 4 minutes)
- Strain mixture into a heatproof bowl through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids to extract maximum liquid.
- Discard solids and let cool.
- Serve with almond cake!
*Note: If the syrup becomes too thick as it cools, warm over the stove or in the microwave before serving.
A few more Valentine’s Day desserts for your sweet tooth!