Michael's on Naples torta di mandorle (almond cake)

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 12.
Michael’s on Naples torta di mandorle (almond cake)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)



Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 (3-ounce) ramekins.


Cream together the butter, almond paste and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the extract, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Fold in the sifted flour.


Divide the mixture among the ramekins, filling each two-thirds full.


Place the ramekins on a baking sheet (this may need to be done in batches), and bake until the cakes are set and a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cakes, still in the ramekins, on a rack.


Before serving, remove the cakes from the ramekins and top each cake with a little glaze and a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds. Place each cake on a serving plate and garnish with the rosemary syrup.

Rosemary syrup


In a small saucepan, simmer together the sugar, water and rosemary for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.


In a separate saucepan, blanch the basil in boiling water until brightly colored, about 10 seconds. Strain the leaves and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain, squeezing out any excess water.


In a blender, combine the simple syrup and basil leaves and purée together. Strain through cheesecloth to remove any solids. This makes about one-half cup syrup, which will keep for up to 2 weeks, covered and refrigerated.



In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, whisk together the sugar, extract and milk to form a glaze. This makes a generous 1 cup glaze.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
Get our new Cooking newsletter, coming soon.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.