Claudia Roden’s new The Food of Spain weighs several pounds. Tucked way back on page 549, I discovered a flourless almond cake recipe (“tarta di Santiago”) that captured my attention. Roden sampled the cake in Galicia, where it appears in the windows of pastry shops and bakeries, decorated with the cross of St. James. While I’ll probably never travel the pilgrim’s trail to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela to view the relics of St. James, I have found my newest favorite almond cake. (I love almond cakes…Dorie Greenspan’s yogurt almond cake has been my long-time favorite, but it’s now slipped to #2.)
The cake contains no flour and no added fat other than what is provided by eggs and ground almonds. Eaten warm, it is light and fluffy. After a day or two, it mellows, becoming denser and more moist. It makes an excellent breakfast cake or afternoon treat.
Tarta di Santiago (adapted from p 549 in Roden’s The Food of Spain)
- 1/2 pound blanched whole or slivered almonds
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- grated zest of 1 lemon (or a few drops lemon oil)
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 4 drops almond extract
- Confectioner’s sugar, if desired
Thanks for this post ; I will send the recipe to my brother and his daughter since both of them are gluten intolerant and this is a dessert they might like to make.
Isn’t it nice to find gluten-free recipes that don’t require special ingredients?
Sounds like a great dessert. I’m always looking for GF treats that don’t taste GF. I’ll have to give it a try. Do you think I could sub a 1/2 pound of almond flour for the ground nuts?
Sure, a finely ground almond flour should work just fine. If you can only get the coarse kind, try whizzing it a bit in the food processor before using it.