Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Torta di Mandorle - Almond Cake

250g spelt flour
125g butter
7 eggs separated
3 ½   heaped tbsp honey

350g finely grated almonds
4 tbsp Apricot jam
all organic

Place flour in a bowl. Add in the middle 1 tbsp honey and 1 egg yolk. Mix into the flour with a wooden spoon. Add the butter in flakes. Mix then knead to a pastry. Cool covered with a tea towel.
Grate the almonds using a hand grater or an almond mill. Do this 100g at a time to avoid fatigue.*
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the pastry and make a pastry shell on the bottom and sides of a 28cm round baking form with it. Cover it with grease-proof natural paper and place weights on the paper (e.g. 6 Walnuts).
Bake for about 8 minutes, until the pastry starts to lift off the baking form bottom. Remove from oven. Remove paper.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat them well for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tbsp honey and continue beating until it is integrated into the egg white mixture.
Beat the egg yolks until very smooth and creamy for a few minutes. Add 1 ½ tbsp honey and continued beating until it is very creamy.
Carefully lift 150g almonds in small amounts under the egg yolk mix using a wooden spoon.
Spread the apricot jam evenly over the baked pastry shell bottom.
Pour the egg yolk mixture into the shell on top of the apricot jam. Smooth the surface.
Bake for about 8 minutes until the egg yolk mixture starts to become a little golden on top.
Remove from oven.
Beat the egg white mixture again for a short time to refresh it. Gradually add the remaining almonds and lift them under.
Add the egg white mixture to the cake on top of the partially baked egg yolk mixture. Smooth the top. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the top is lightly golden. Turn off the oven and leave the door open with the cake inside for another 30 minutes.
Remove the cake and cool.
Remove it from the cake form.

Torta di Mandorle is a layered almond cake reflecting the colours of the egg. Serve it with tea or coffee. It is an ideal cake for a picnic.

* Almonds need to be grated to get the right texture. Do not put them into a food processor. A hand grater is laboursome but worth the effort. It is good excercise and you keep control over your ingredients.

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