MAJORCAN ALMOND CAKE
All Recipes from The Cuisines of Spain by Teresa Barrenechea
Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour for preparing pan (if aiming to make this dairy and glluten free, can use earth balance and gluten free flour for this step)
8 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely ground blanched almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 11-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides and then dust it with flour, shake off any excess.
2. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until smooth and foamy. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix well. Add the ground almonds a little at a time, mixing well after each addition to incorporate fully.
3. Using a whisk or a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Scoop about one-third of the whites onto the egg yolk mixture and, using a rubber spatula, fold them in to lighten the mixture. Then add the remaining whites and fold them in gently but thoroughly, deflating the batter as little as possible.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and holding the pan about 6 inches above the counter, drop the pan onto the counter. This simple dropping action “shocks” the cake, making it easier to remove from the pan
5. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan until warm. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake sides and then invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Place the cake upright on a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with Almond Ice Cream, if desired.
ALMOND ICE CREAM
1/2 pound blanched almonds
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
1. In a food processor, very finely grind the almonds. Use the pulse function and watch carefully. You do not want the nuts to release too much oil (otherwise they turn into nut butter).
2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, and half of the almonds. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease high heat to medium and add the rest of the almonds, continuing to stir. As soon as the mixture boils again, remove from the heat and let cool completely. To cool quickly place mixture in a bowl, in a larger bowl add a few cups of ice and some water, place mixture filled bowl inside ice bowl and lightly spin mixture bowl. The ice water in contact with the bowl will quickly cool the mixture down.
3. Transfer the cooled mixture to an ice-cream maker, process and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.
4. When ready to serve, remove from freezer about 20 minutes in advance to allow to soften slightly.