Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ceramic Sunday - a cup of tea (and cake!)

This pink lustre tea cup and saucer is an old piece that has managed to survive intact for many years. The pattern is wearing thin, but it is a pleasure to use. I had a cup of green tea to accompany a delicious slice of cake that was made by a friend.
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!  

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.
Lucky tourists!


  1. Now THAT sounds delicious. I don't know if I could give someone cake to take away, it's far too precious for that. I will try the recipe though. As for the cup and saucer, Amanda would snap that up for her collection!

    1. It is, indeed, delicious. It doesn't make a deep cake but is moist and tasty with a lovely texture. I'm going to make half quantities first and then the full amount for Easter.

  2. I have never heard of caster sugar so I looked it up onthe Internet. It is not something that is available at our local stores, but I found out that you can put the cane sugar in a food processor and grind it to the right consistency. Unfortunately, my processor broke at Christms time, but I am hoping to get one as a Mother's Day gift in May. I have printed out your recipe and will try it then.

    1. I usually bake with ordinary granulated sugar even when the recipe says to use castor. I don't know how important a difference it might make to this recipe - I'll tell you once I've made it!
      Hope a nice food processor will be coming your way in May. :-)