Galician Almond Cake (Tarta de Santiago)
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: Barbara Norman
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
  • 2 Cups blanched almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar; for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix butter with sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Separately, beat eggs with grated lemon rind until foamy.
  4. Grind almonds to fine paste in electric blender or mortar. Add all but 1/4 cup almonds and beaten eggs to butter and sugar mixture (reserve remaining almonds for topping). Mix only enough to blend well.
  5. Pour into 9-inch round cake pan which has been lightly buttered and sprinkled with flour.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in 425 degree oven. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake springs back if pressed with a finger.
  7. Invert cake until it cools before removing.
  8. Place cooled cake on cookie sheet, coat top of cake with the remaining ground almonds and 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and place under broiler until topping forms a light crust. Do not allow sugar to caramelize: it should merely brown and harden slightly.
  9. Dust the top of the cake, when cooled, with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
  10. The cake should be coarse-grained and of a rich yellow color.
  11. This recipe makes a high, round one-layer cake, 9-inches in diameter.
Recipe Source: THE SPANISH COOKBOOK by Barbara Norman

In Spain, a paper cut out of a cross of St. James, patron saint of the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, is set out on the cake before sprinkling with powdered sugar, then the cut out is removed, revealing the shape of the cross on the cake. This is an optional step, often reserved for religious celebrations.
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