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 is 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.
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
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.
Boil, stirring frequently, for around 15 minutes to reduce until it is slightly syrupy (it will not go thickly syrupy)
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.