"...I keep it on all the beaches of the world ... perhaps you've seen it..."
Comedian Steven Wright once said that, and I still get a kick out of it.
Well, I'm also the proud owner of a seashell collection. Come look...
While I don't claim to be a conchologist, I dare say my seashells are better than Mr. Wright's because once you're done admiring them, you can eat'em.
My seashells are very rich, moist, buttery, and delivers the ultimate almond flavor punch. I baked them in a cast iron shell pan, which is manufactured by the John Wright Company (no relation to comedian Steven Wright).
By the way, if you don't own a seashell pan, don't fret. Instead, bake it in a 9-inch Springform pan. Although, I've also baked these cakelets in the old Jello "blossom" molds, which work well, if you're aiming for pweshus.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that these almond cakelets were covered with a basic confectioner's glaze flavored with vanilla extract and a few drops of almond extract. That said, these cakelets would also be sinful covered in chocolate. Yeeaaah. Hey, anybody got a cigarette?!
1 cup (8 ounces) almond paste
1¼ cups sugar
1¼ cups butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325º F. Grease and flour a 9-inch Springform pan or 14 "blossom" molds. Combine the almond paste and sugar in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add the butter and vanilla; pulse until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse until just combined. Do not overmix.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the almond mixture and pulse to blend.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 1 to 1½ hours in the Springform, or 20-25 minutes in the single-serving molds, or until lightly golden on top. Adapted from a recipe by Amy Whitelaw, pastry chef of Left Bank.