Boterkoek with Rosemary & Almond Paste

Last week I read a really on point answer to the question what makes a recipe a good recipe. In addition to all before, I would say memories.
I can’t imagine eating this treat without thinking of both my grandmother and mother at the same time. There is something very simple about this cake, and nevertheless it manages to transform all these humble ingredients into something heart-warming (this might be due to the *slight* caloric intake that comes with it).
The result is something that smells buttery, sweet and slightly of my grandmother’s kitchen.
What makes this cake even better is that my mother has taken up the tradition to bring this to my birthday party, regardless of whether it is in a bar, hip restaurant or at our new apartment.
And that is what I love so much about both my mother and this cake: it will make anything feel special.

Happy mother’s day Mom, I know I am a day late, but I am afraid that will be always the case.

Whereas my grandmother used to bake this version with halved almonds on top, the dough pressed down in a small pan, my mother makes her own version in a small pan (rather than a loaf shape) with often glazed ginger sprinkled on top before baking. I have taken the liberty over the years to amend it to my taste and to add almond paste (both me and my father’s favorite).
Try to bake it until it doesn’t wobble at the touch any more, but is also not completely firm.

  • 250 grams melted, unsalted butter
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 100 gram Almond Paste (optionally)

Simply stirr all ingredients together into a fairly soft batter. Spoon this into your preffered pan (either loaf-shaped or round), and in case you would like to add the almond paste, stop at half of the dough. Then, pre-shape the almond paste in little balls or a longer roll (it will be messy as it is rather sticky), then place this onto the first layer of dough and carefully spoon over the rest of the mixture.

Place the pan in a moderatly hot oven at 180 degrees Celsius and bake until the cake is still moist but not wobbly anymore if you shake the pan. In my case that took around 40 minutes, but please keep a close eye on it, as the times might differ per oven. The cake will firm up once it cools down, and will be easy to slice once it is cooled through.

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