This was made at the behest of my husband for Easter, I have however followed a recipe that uses a mix of plain/all-purpose flour & ground almonds.
Almond Cake is normally made using almond flour, sugar, eggs & baking powder as flour or wheat is one of the grains that is prohibited during Passover as a reminder of when the Jews fled Egypt with unrisen dough in their packs.
Tarta de Santiago has been linked to the Jewish migration or influence in Spain & Portugal as mentioned in an interview Claudia Roden had with Epicurious. I am constantly amazed at how our cultures & mostly foods are interlinked and/or adopted. Food is a common denominator and central to all cultures.
This recipe does not tick all the boxes but is equally delicious and a hit with the testers (my nieces & husband).
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2/3 cups sugar
100g (about 1 cup) ground almonds
1/2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon almond essence
zest of one (1) orange
sliced almonds or whole almonds for decoration
icing sugar (about 1/2-1 teaspoon) for dusting
- Beat the butter & sugar till light & creamy
- Add almond essence & orange zest and beat to mix.
- Add eggs, one at a time, till it comes together.
- Stir in the ground almonds & flour, in parts & fold to mix into the batter.
- Pour into a greased & lined 6″ deep cake tin for a higher cake. You can use an 8″ cake tin which will give you a flatter cake, similar to how it is served in other countries.
- Bake in a preheated oven, 180ºC (375ºF) for about 30-45 minutes depending on the size of cake tin you have used.
- Check if cake is done – skewer in & out is clean, your cake is done or if the cake leaves the sides of the cake tin, it’s done.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. First, you have to turn the cake out of the tin, remove any parchment or baking paper that you may have used.
- Once cool, dust the icing sugar (best is with a sieve) and top with the sliced almonds.