I should explain that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Do I hear gasps out there? I know, it’s not a popular viewpoint.
Salt is another matter, I’ve yet to meet a crisp chip of any kind that I don’t immediately adore. But sugar, not so much. My first blog post was in late September of 2014 and, since that date, there have been exactly 5 recipes for desserts.
Working backward, the last one was in May of 2022: Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce
In May 2021: Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart
In June 2015: Lavender Nut Cake
In December 2014: Raspberry streusel bars
And in November 2014 my mother’s secret recipe: Pot of Chocolate
Here is number 6, Tender Almond Cake. It’s not too sweet, both dairy and gluten-free. The recipe came from Salvatore Messina at the NY Times. It’s a keeper, good for dessert with some fresh fruit. But it’s also wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning or as an afternoon snack.
My pictures do not do it justice. If I wasn’t leaving for New Zealand in a few days I would make it again just for the pictures…it will have to wait until I get back. I wanted to get this recipe into your hands.
The recipe is similar to an Italian almond cake. However, he adapted it from a recipe for torta de Santiago the traditional almond cake from Galicia, Spain, using less sugar, no cinnamon, and more orange zest.
- 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter (or butter substitute) for greasing the pan
- 8 oz/227 grams of blanched almonds
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1-1/4 cups/250 grams of granulated sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
- Pulse the almonds a few times in a food processor, then grind them, until they become a coarse meal. This will take 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the ground almonds, zests, and almond extract until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to another large bowl and thoroughly wipe and clean the bowl of the stand mixer.
- In the clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks on medium-high, for 1 to 2 minutes. Incorporate the whites into the egg yolk-sugar-almond mixture until no white streaks remain. Spread into the prepared pan.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes clean.
- Cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it, then transfer it to a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.