Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: Spanish Almond Cake

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With one bowl, eight ingredients, and ten minutes Matthew Card says you'll get the most delicious almond cake around. The Food Editor of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street stopped by to show us how to make Spanish Almond Cake.

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Spanish Almond Cake (Tarta de Santiago)

Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus cooling (10 minutes active)

Servings: 8

This flourless cake from Galicia, Spain, is traditionally made with separated eggs and flavored with citrus and/or cinnamon. We liked it made more simply, with whole eggs and just a small measure of vanilla and almond extracts. A sprinkling of chopped almonds and coarse raw sugar on top of the batter gives the surface a chewy-crisp crust that contrasts wonderfully with the dense, plush crumb of the cake’s interior. Crème fraîche and fresh berries are perfect accompaniments.

Don't underbake the cake. Rather than use a skewer or toothpick to test the center for doneness, check the browning and crust development. The cake is ready when the surface is deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger. Don't serve the cake warm. It's texture is best when fully cooled.

—Julia Rackow

  • 240 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 grams (2 1/2 cups) blanched almond flour
  • 35 grams (3 tablespoons) turbinado or demerara sugar
  • 37 grams (? cup) sliced almonds, chopped

Heat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with a round of kitchen parchment, then mist the parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the white sugar, whole eggs and egg whites, salt and both extracts. Whisk vigorously until well combined, 30 to 45 seconds; the mixture will be slightly frothy and the sugar will not be fully dissolved. Add the almond flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar and chopped almonds. Bake until deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cake, then invert onto a plate. Remove the pan and parchment then re-invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool completely before serving.