This blog post is something a little different, I think it is important to show people that I do have other interests other than beauty products and fashion (as much as I love both!), so I am hoping that this post lives up to the "lifestyle" aspect of my blog. I hope you enjoy today's entry, and please do let me know your thoughts below!
Last night was a special night in the Tee household, and by means of celebration my Mum and I baked a traditional Spanish cake, Tarta de Santiago. This lovely almond cake can be found in almost every pastry shop in Santiago de Compostela, the final destination of the famous Christian pilgrimage route through Northern Spain.
There are a few variations such as adding 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the almond and egg mixture. In Majorca, they make a similar almond cake called gato d'ametla, which is flavoured with the grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and sometimes a few drops of vanilla extract and in Navarre, they cover the cake with apricot jam. We personally preferred to keep it traditional as it is a favourite of my Dad's but I am sure these variations will be just as yummy.
If like me, you don't own an electric whisk than this recipe is the perfect arm work out, it is hard work without one, but boy, it's worth it!
To make Tarta de Santiago, you will need the following:
- 250g blanched almond
- 6 eggs, separated
- 250g caster sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 drops almond extract
- Butter, to grease the cake tin
- Flour, to dust the cake tin
- Icing sugar, for dusting the cake
- Grind the almonds finely in the food processor, or, if you don't have this luxury you can pick up some already ground almonds from Waitrose which are just as good!
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a pale cream with an electric mixer, or by hand - you can do the job just as well without a mixer, it just takes a little longer.
- Once you have zested both the lemon and lime's, beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
- For the next bit you will need to clean your mixer, or just use a fresh bowl to whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the egg and almond mixture. The consistency of the mixture needs to be super thick, so you need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites. To see if the mixture is stiff enough, tip the bowl upside down over your head - if nothing falls, it's done, if not...you'll need to wash your hair when you're done!
- Grease a cake tin that is about 28cm in diameter (preferably non-stick) with butter and dust it with flour, then pour in the cake mixture.
- Put the cake into an oven preheated to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes until it feels firm. You can see if its cooked all the way through by putting a cake tester in the middle - if any residue is left on it then it needs a few more minutes. Let it cool before turning out. Dust the top with icing sugar and voilà! You have one tasty, traditional Spanish cake to enjoy. We didn't dust ours but served it with a big helping of extra thick double cream and it was just sublime.