I have given the Lemon Almond Torta from The Traveler’s Lunchbox another chance. It was good the first time, but I was a little disappointed. First of all, my torta did not look anything like Melissa’s picture.
Melissa seems to have photographed a miniature lemon torta, which she managed to completely encrust in toasted almonds. In response to a question about getting the almonds to stick, she posted that she used a thick layer of butter to get the almonds to adhere to the sides of the pan and then “glued” more on with a sugar paste. I tried this without success.
I tried a few things differently the second time. First, I used a regular cake pan instead of a springform pan because I hate dealing with springform pans. Second, I gave up the idea of completely encrusting the torta with almonds. I did not even bother to try to get the nuts to stick at all to the sides of the pan.
The first time I made the torta, the cake was a little dense. This time, it was much better, but just a little soggy in the center under all the lemon curd. I might have underbaked it. Both times I made the torta, I neglected to toast the almonds. Next time, I will pay attention to this step because the almonds on my tortas were a little pale and got a bit soggy.
These quibbles aside, the torta was a big success. It was especially good paired with Chocolate Nemesis (Good Housekeeping, December 2005)