Name of Chef: Raquel Pena
Occupation: Manager, Carmel Valley Farmers Market92130AprMay2013_Recipe_ChefPhoto
Family Members: Son – Jordan (18), a student at Mira Costa College; Daughter – Julia (15), a student at Cathedral Catholic
Community of Residence: La Costa, Carlsbad
Hobbies / Interests: Family, photography, writing, yoga, fitness, hiking, polo, Slow Food Movement farm-to-plate cooking and events, attending local concerts and blogging.
About the Chef: Farmers market aficionado turned manager. Raquel hopes to turn her experience and expertise on food styling, creative writing, blogging and photography into future film production endeavors.
About the Recipe: This is a wonderfully simple dessert that is savory yet sweet and can be made at the last minute or a week ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Look for the best quality almonds (Hopkins Almonds AG) or almond paste that you can find for the best taste and texture. You can also make a number of fruit sauces (such as raspberry sauce) that will taste wonderful with this cake.

The fresh ingredients of the recipe can all be found at the Carmel Valley Farmers Market. The market is open every Thursday from 2:30 p.m. until sunset. It is located at 5951 Village Center Loop Rd. San Diego, CA 92130. For additional information call 858-922-5135, visit their Facebook page or email

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1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon. sea salt
2 1/2 ounces almond paste
3/4 cup organic sugar (fine)
2 large pastured eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla

Lemon Syrup:

1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup organic sugar (fine) Zest of one lemon

Lavender Whipped Cream:

1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon dried lavender
2 tablespoon organic powdered sugar

Lavender Whipped Cream:

Fresh seasonal fruit

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  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and chill a metal mixing bowl. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, break up the almond paste on medium-low speed. Alternate adding the butter and sugar, a little at a time. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula while mixing. When all the butter and sugar have been added, increase the speed to medium-high and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Add eggs very slowly, so the batter doesn’t break apart. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the surface is deep golden brown and the edges have slightly separated away from pan. Let cool, then tap the sides and the bottom of pan and invert onto a plate.
  5. To make the lemon syrup: Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in the lemon zest and set aside.
  6. To make the lavender whipped cream: In a small saucepan combine whipping cream and dried lavender. Bring to just a simmer. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture and discard the lavender. Cover and chill whipped cream mixture at least two hours or until completely chilled. In a chilled metal mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Use at once or cover and chill up to two hours.
  7. Serve the torte: Drizzle torte with lemon syrup, fresh fruit and lavender whipped cream.