I've mentioned before on the blog that every time I look up recipes for a particular dish, I always want to slash the number of ingredients and active cooking time in half. For a few years, I desperately tried to conquer those complicated kitchen projects and prove my worthiness by cooking elaborate meals "effortlessly". Until one day I realized that staying up till 2:00 AM making homemade, nondairy caramel for the third attempt wasn't worth all the concealer I had to use in the morning (I ended up serving that caramel and it was unfortunate having to listen to everyone crunch on sugar). I know several people who love a complicated recipe and find that to be a calming outlet. But it personally took me some time to accept that I enjoy cooking the most when the recipe resembles the directions on a Wacky Mac box as much possible. I still love great food and I love to experiment with no-fuss ingredients. If there's a challenge I do enjoy in the kitchen, it's how to make simple, healthy dishes without sacrificing taste.
Baking, however, can be tricky. There isn't as much room to get creative. My best shot is looking out for the simplest of recipes, and learning from them. Sometimes I'm able to come up with something of my own, and sometimes I need to "customize" a basic recipe. So that's what I did with this recipe for easy white cake. I turned it into an almond cake recipe and absolutely loved the rich, flavorful result. I made it in my new, smaller springform pan, and it goes amazingly with coffee for breakfast!
Perfect Almond Cake
1/4 cup honey + 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp almond extract + 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup almond milk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (I toned down the heat to prevent burning in a smaller pan). Mix the sweeteners and coconut oil together. Add the eggs and both extracts and mix well again. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add the dry and wet ingredients together and mix well. Add the almond milk and stir until smooth again. Pour into a pan and bake in the oven until the cake becomes a bit golden (not brown) and a knife comes out clean (it took about 45 minutes for my oven/pan). Top with powdered sugar and almond slices if desired! Could serve about 4 hungry people (probably up to 6 though).