Spanish Almond Cake

In the Northwest corner of Spain, this cake is known as Tarta de Santiago, or St. James cake. It is naturally gluten free, using ground almonds instead of flour, and is actually thought to have been brought to this area by Jews fleeing persecution, who would have made it for Passover. It is a light cake with a rich history, and makes for a fine dessert, afternoon snack, or decadent breakfast.

Spanish Almond Cake

Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
In the Northwest corner of Spain, this cake is known as Tarta de Santiago, or St. James cake. It is naturally gluten free, using ground almonds instead of flour, and is actually thought to have been brought to this area by Jews fleeing persecution, who would have made it for Passover. It is a light cake with a rich history, and makes for a fine dessert, afternoon snack, or decadent breakfast.
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Course Dessert
Servings 10 inch cake

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (225 grams) fine almond flour
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 grams) sugar
  • zest from 1 small navel orange
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 10-inch springform pan.
  • Place the egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat to stiff peaks (when you pull the whisk out of the egg whites, it will form a peak that holds its shape). Remove the egg whites to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Place the egg yolks and sugar in the mixer and beat them with the whisk attachment until thick and pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Beat in the orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla and cinnamon, then mix in the almond flour until just combined.
  • Add about ⅓ of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently, using a spatula. The egg yolk mixture will be quite thick, and it is important to lighten it with a little of the egg whites before adding the rest. Fold in another ⅓ of the egg whites, then the remaining amount.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place on a baking sheet and place in your preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the sides of the cake have pulled away from the pan and the cake is set in the middle.
  • Let the cake cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar using a fine mesh sieve.
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