Whilst in Mallorca, we spent our afternoons sat up in the mountains eating Padron peppers, paella, and almond cake.
This cake was unlike any almond cake found in the UK. It looked unassuming, sat on the plate, shallow and covered in a thick layer of white icing sugar. However, it seemed that everyone was eating it. Wherever you’d go, almond cake would be on the menu, be it in a tiny cafe high up in the mountains or an established restaurant that was popular amongst locals and travellers alike.
The taste was of pure almonds. Whilst they’d been ground and mixed with a few other ingredients, all you could taste was almonds. In texture, it was incredibly light and airy. Whilst it doesn’t have much of a rise, the texture is just right. The generous dusting of icing sugar adds a sweetness, and as the icing sugar soaks into the sponge it makes it even moister.
What’s even better is the simplicity of the recipe. There are just four ingridients: almonds, eggs, lemon, and sugar. Whilst Rick Stein suggests grinding the almonds to a very fine mixture, I prefer to have a few left whole. This means you come across a crunchy almond in amongst the smooth sponge mixture.
Whilst the cake is cooling, slight cracks might appear on top. I believe this is how it’s served in Mallorca, making it truly authentic.
The Recipe (Originally from Rick Stein)
200g almonds, ground in a food processor
5 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Icing sugar for the top
– Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease and line the base of a 22cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
– Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and pale in colour. This will take about 5 minutes.
– Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest.
– In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
– Add the egg whites a spoonful at a time to the mixture. Fold in gently.
– Once the mixture is fully combined, pour into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
– Leave to cool in the tin, then remove. Dust generously with icing sugar. Eat with mascarpone.