Pilgrim Cake (6 – 8)

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This cake is traditionally found in the North Western region of Spain bordering on Portugal known as Galicia. Many European Catholics make a pilgrimage to this area to visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it is believed that the relics of the Apostle St. James, Patron Saint of Spain, are buried. This type of cake can be found in virtually every bakery in the town and has the Cross of St. James depicted on the top of it. It is so easy to make and is virtually foolproof. The template of the St. James’s cross can be found on the internet, otherwise just sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. The cake isĀ  lovely and moist cake and can be eaten at any time of day with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea or a glass of dessert wine.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

1 x 8 – 9 inch round cake tin, oiled and lined with a circle of parchment paper (which should also be oiled on the top to prevent the cake sticking)

8 oz. caster sugar

8 oz. ground almonds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Zest of half an unwaxed lemon

5 eggs – lightly beaten

Confectioner’s sugar for sifting over the top of the cake

Place the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Slowly add the beaten eggs a little at a time while stirring with a spoon.

When mixture is smooth pour into the cake tin.

Cook in the oven for 50 around minutes until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch.

Turn cake out onto a cake rack and let cool before either placing the template on top of the cake (oil it lightly to stop it from moving around) and sift confectioner’s sugar over the cake. Carefully peel off the template and serve.

 

 

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Citrus Almond Cake (8)

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This is a cake full of surprises. It has no frosting or filling and looks rather understated except for the sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar over the top. But it is moist as can be and oozes with citrus flavor due to the orange, lemon, lime syrup which as been slowly poured over it. It can be served as a dessert but a slice would be wonderful for afternoon tea. Can be served warm or cold.

Tip – because top of cake is moist the confectioner’s sugar should be sprinkled over at last minute

Syrup
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
Juice of 1 lime, 1 lemon (Mayer type, if possible) and 1 orange

Bring water and sugar mixture to a boil.
Add juice.
Boil, stirring frequently, for around 15 minutes to reduce until it is slightly syrupy (it will not go thickly syrupy)

Cake
Canola oil for greasing a 9 inch cake tin and circle of parchment paper used to line the bottom of the cake tin.
4 x eggs – separated
Zest of 1 lime, 1 lemon (Mayer type, if possible) and 1 orange
1/2 cup of sugar – split into 2 x 1/4 cups as it is used for 2 different purposes
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt

Mix egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar and zest together in a food processor.
Add ground almonds, baking powder and salt to egg mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff, then add 1/4 cup of sugar a little at a time.
Fold egg whites mixture into ground almond mixture a spoonful at a time.
Put mixture into cake tin and cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (check cake at 15 minutes and cover loosely with aluminum foil if it is going too brown).
Turn cake out onto a rack to cool a little bit.
When still warm place cake on a flat plate, prick all over with a fork to make holes for the syrup to enter the cake, then spoon the syrup over the cake until it is saturated taking care to moisten the sides too. Serve any leftover syrup as a sauce.

Banana Bread My Way (serves 8)

recipe photo 21Banana Bread My Way (serves 8)

I always think I am taking the healthy option having banana bread. For one thing it is called banana bread, not banana cake
Then it has bananas in it not chocolate. However, I am only pulling wool over my own eyes! Still, it is a sweet treat that I can have. Banana Bread My Way is literally that, so it was a little trial and error. Almond Flour replaces flour, canola oil replaces butter. I reduced the amount of sugar as much as I could and I added chopped walnuts too. It is so easy to make. You just need one big bowl and everything gets mixed in. I mashed my bananas effectively with a potato masher. Mixture was cooked in an aluminum rectangular cake tin (8″ x 4″) greased with canola oil. Aim to cook for an hour or so (mine took longer) but check during that time. I checked half way through and because I didn’t want it to get too brown, I put a piece of aluminum foil on top. Put a toothpick or skewer into middle of cake to check for doneness (should come out clean).

3 ripe bananas
2 extra large eggs (3 regular sized) – whisk in a small bowl
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Place the bananas in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.
Add whisked eggs and mix well.
Then stir in almond flour followed by canola oil and sugar.
Then stir in salt, baking powder and vanilla essence.
Lastly, stir in the chopped walnuts.