In this week’s episode of Ludo à la Maison, chef Ludo Lefebvre teaches his son, Luca, how to make a snack he grew up eating after school—an almond cake with apricots. Almost reminiscent of a financier, which is an almond-based cake with brown butter, this quick dessert has a crisp exterior and gooey interior, with a sweet taste balanced by the tart apricots. Like his father, Luca loves to cook, so he’s all too eager to help out while they pull together the little cakes, separating egg whites, greasing the pans, and cutting up the fruit, too. Along the way, Lefebvre gives Luca helpful pointers and instructions—check out his key tips below.
There’s an easier way to separate eggs
To start, Lefebvre assigns Luca the task of separating the egg whites. When he tries, he accidentally drops a yolk into the bowl as well—so Lefebvre shows him an easier way, which he says is great for kids. Simply crack all of the eggs into one bowl, and then pick up the egg yolks and transfer them to another bowl. As Luca grabs the yolks, Lefebvre mentions that the dripping egg yolk reminds him of the slime ghost from Ghost Busters.
Slick the molds with butter
Lefebvre has Luca “massage” the cake molds with butter so that the cakes don’t stick once they’re done baking. It’s important to get the sides, too—near the end of the video when Lefebvre removes the cakes from the oven, he flips the molds upside down so that the cakes slide out seamlessly.
Then, add the apricots
Lefebvre adds the apricots because Luca loves fruit. Once they’re sliced into bite-sized pieces, they’re added to the bottom of the pan.
Mix the dry ingredients slowly
In a stand mixer, Luca and Lefebvre combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt, mixing at a low speed. Luca says this is key, as a high speed would result in the ingredients flying all over the place. Then, they slowly add in the egg whites, followed by the melted butter, resulting in a batter that has notes of almond in it.
Grab more apricots
Once the batter is ready, Luca and Lefebvre pour it into the molds, covering the apricot slices. They also add more apricots to tops of the cakes—after that, they’re ready to bake for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven.
The finishing touch
After the cakes are done baking, Lefebvre says they should be moist in the middle and crisp on the outside. He cuts them into little slices, and tops everything off with a dusting of powdered sugar. As they’re eating the end product, Luca dubs them “flip over cakes,” referencing the technique Lefebvre used to get the cakes out of the pan.
Don’t like apricots? No problem
We’ve also found that cherries, peaches, and other stone fruits work with this recipe, so you can always substitute them in for the apricots.
Get the recipe here.