From Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum, reprinted with the author’s permission.
Pan: 1 9-1/2 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (preferably nonstick), or one 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides, encircled with a cake strip.* Coat either pan with baking spray with flour.
½ cup (1.5 ounces or 42 grams) blanched sliced almonds
¾ cup superfine sugar (5.3 ounces or 150 grams), divided (if you don’t have it, run regular granulated sugar in the food processor for 3 minutes)
Salt: ¼ teaspoon, unless you’re using the salted butter (see below), then use 1/8 teaspoon
Unsalted butter at room temperature: 9 ounces (255 grams) if high-fat European style, or 10 ounces if regular unsalted butter or Vermont lightly salted butter (284 grams)
About 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature (1/4 cup plus ½ tablespoon by volume, 2.6 ounces or 74 grams by weight)
1 tablespoon dark rum, Kirsch, Cognac, or water (0.5 fluid ounce or 15 grams)
1-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Bleached all-purpose flour: 2 cups sifted into a dry-ingredient measuring cup and leveled off, plus 3 tablespoons (8.7 ounces or 250 grams)
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, until pale gold. Stir once or twice during baking. Cool completely. Grind in a food processor with ¼ cup of the sugar and the salt until fairly fine but not powder fine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix together the remaining sugar and the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the almond mixture, the rum or brandy and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 20 seconds until incorporated. Add the flour in four parts, beating on the lowest speed for about 15 seconds and turning the mixer off between additions. Detach the beater and mix in any remaining flour streaks with a spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula.
With the beaten egg, brush the top of the cake well using about a tablespoon of egg. Use the tines of a fork to make a crosshatch of three long lines in two directions. If the batter has softened, refrigerate or freeze it briefly to make it more firm.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until deep golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. It should just begin to come away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan (if you used a pan with a removable bottom), invert the cake onto a cookie sheet and remove the bottom, reinvert onto a serving plate and let the cake cool completely. If you used a cake pan, gently invert the cake onto a lightly-greased cooling rack and remove the pan. Then gently reinvert onto a serving plate and let it cool.
* Cake strips are made to go around the sides of cake pans, and they prevent the sides from browning too much – they also help prevent the cake from making a domed surface in the middle. According to Rose, you can also make your own using a strip of aluminum foil long enough to encircle the pan with a little overlap. Wet some paper towels, fold them the height of the pan, then lay them along the strip. Then fold the aluminum foil over to encase them. Wrap the strip around the pan and secure it with a metal paper clip or clamp.