8 to 10 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup granulated sugar, separated
1 pound all-butter puff pastry*
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup almond meal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cream
1 king cake baby, optional
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Prepare 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom by spraying with cooking spray and dusting with ¼ cup granulated sugar. Remove bottom of pan, and grease, then sugar, inside of rim.
- Divide puff pastry in half. Work with half of pastry at a time, keeping other half refrigerated. Roll out first half to ⅛-inch thick, 9-inch diameter round and place into prepared tart pan allowing about 1 inch to drape over sides of pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Roll second half of pastry to ⅛-inch thick, and 9-inches in diameter. Place on sheet pan, and refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.
- Place butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment then cream until smooth and light in color. Add 2 eggs to mixture, one at a time, incorporating first egg fully before adding second. Fold in brandy and vanilla.
- Mix together almond meal and flour in separate bowl, then fold into butter mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk together remaining egg and heavy cream. Pour almond filling into tart pan lined with prepared puff pastry. Brush rim of puff pastry with egg/cream glaze, then place second rolled out pastry round on top. Press edges down against outside of pan to seal. Cut off excess. Refrigerate glaze and tart overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place tart pan on baking sheet then brush top of cake with egg white and cream glaze. Using sharp paring knife, score top of pastry in half circles working your way from center to edge. Be careful not to cut through pastry, just score.
- Bake tart until cake has puffed and turned golden brown, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving and sneak that king cake baby into bottom of tart.
*When shopping, check the package ingredients; puff pastry made with vegetable shortening is not as high-quality as puff pastry made with real butter. And, be sure to let your guests know that there is a miniature baby in the cake before serving.