Hello, everybody! (Wow, that was bold. But I kinda like it so I'm going to leave it.) The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a recipe I've shared before. Every year since I first brought it to the cafe, in fact. It's sort of a Christmas tradition to make this fragrant almond cake during Advent. Sort of like sugar cookies or pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or Jan's spiced cider. Certain seasons and holidays make us yearn for certain foods. So, although we made it in my new cast iron bundt pan this year, the recipe is still the same! Edna has been retired (but still present in the kitchen to give advice) for several years, but she loves a little bite of fresh almond cake. Happy Advent!
It all started when Edna was thinking on the good old days. She talked about dresses, and aprons and pyrex...
But why would I want to grate almonds?? I mean, that's the real question here, right?
Edna was scandalized I had never made an almond cake. And so we began.
Mix 1 cup of softened butter
1 cup sugar
and 3 eggs.
Wait, this sounds like cookies! Hmmmmm.....
And in the almond filling. (Ugh. Is this a dump cake? I'm still scared to Google that term. Looks pretty close to what I was picturing..)
In one bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking powder. THIS IS A COOKIE RECIPE! I knew it!
Oh, wait. And 1/3 cup whole milk. Edna said to add them, alternating between the flour and the milk, but STARTING with the flour and ENDING with the flour. Got that? I almost rolled my eyes, but I've learned to take dear Edna at her word.
You can add a coin for good luck, or a small porcelain figure, like a tiny baby Jesus. It's tradition that the person who finds the coin or the baby has wealth and happiness... But make sure everyone searches their cake piece BEFORE eating it.
See, she's wearing a crown. :) All mamas are princesses, you know. I have no idea if she really had a striped dress like that, or if I just liked red and blue. And I'm fairly sure her hands were NEVER that size.
Edna requested her piece of cake on that old plate. I tried to talk her out of it. Old, yes, but not a nice kind of old! Not pretty vintage! Plastic and scribbled and not safe for the mircrowave kind of old.
Now, for the reveal! I started several new projects this year. One was a whole new pen name for Regency books, another took months of my time and I STILL can't say anything about it (ha!), but one long-term project is finally emerging. It's a six author, shared-world series set in Arcadia Valley, Idaho.
It's taken months of planning, organization, and work, but our first book (a novella collection) is up for pre-order! Starting in February , one book a month will be released by one of the six authors in the group, for a total of 24 books. (I'm up first with Summer's Glory, and I LOVE the book. But I always love the book I just finished so... take that with a grain of salt. LOL)
The blurb for my novella, called Spring's Blessing:
Life gets complicated for Charlotte MacGregor when a motherless child and a handsome widower encroach on her carefully laid plans. Will she keep her heart above the fray, or take a leap of faith?
So, that's the almond cake revisit for 2016 and my new book reveal. Can you believe the year is almost over? It went by so quickly!!
Be sure to stop by my author pages at Mary Jane Hathaway or Virginia Carmichael, or visit my blog at The Things That Last for more news!.