The recipe was in last Sunday's 'Observer' magazine, in a piece from Claudia Roden's new book, 'The Food of Spain'. Mindful of my current low tolerance to fat, Judith had made this cake for when we visited last Friday. It is absolutely delicious! We ate two slices apiece, and when we got up to leave Judith wrapped a sizeable amount of the remaining cake for me to take home.
Now that's what I call friendship!
TARTA DE SANTIAGO
Almond cake, serves 10.
250g blanched almonds, finely ground. (Or do what Judith did, sensible woman, and use ready ground almonds!)
6 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon
4 drops almond extract
Beat the egg yolks and sugar to a pale cream, then add zest, extract and ground almonds and mix well.
In clean bowl whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the almond mixture. (Rather a thick mixture so needs folding in quite well.)
Grease a 28cm diameter spring-form cake tin and dust with flour, pour in the mixture and cook for 40 minutes at gas mark 4 (180C)
Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
The relics of the apostle Saint James are believed to be buried in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Local shops make cakes to this recipe and decorate them with the cross of the Order of Santiago to sell to the visiting pilgrims and tourists.