I should be winding up all the birthday celebrations today, but before calling all the celebrations off until next time, we have one more. A bunch of us are going to Barcelona, the Wine and Tapas Bar in No Denver for one more party and one more celebration. Birthday Celebrations – Part 2 – Barcelona
I decided since we were going back to Barcelona, the Tapas Bar, that a dessert from my Barcelona Cookbook would be the perfect thing to make. I made my version of their Orange and Almond Cake, also known as the classica torta de Santiago,which originally comes from Galacia. Galacia is in the Northwestern part of Spain, North of Portugal. It faces the Atlantic Ocean. This cake is often used a cake to honor Saint James, the Patron Saint of Spain, whose remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Orange and Almond Cake
This is a simple cake to make with basic ingredients. This is true for many European cakes. Simple is my favorite too.
1 cup sugar
7 eggs, separated
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 3/4 cup ground almond meal or flour
1/2 cup flour, optional
1 tsp orange extract
1.4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
5 apples, peeled and diced small
2 TBSP honey
Use 2 8-8 1/2 inch cakes pans. Spray them with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350* F.
Mix the sugar, orange zest, oil, applesauce and egg yolks together in a mixer with the whisk attachment for about 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites at a high speed until they become light and fluffy and form stiff peaks, or about 7 minutes.
When the egg yolk mixture is thoroughly mixed together, add the ground almonds and the orange extract and mix again. Then gently fold in the egg whites until everything is mixed together well. Evenly divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and spread the batter out. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cakes are baking, make your apples. Peel them and slice them, then cut them into a small dice. Cook them in butter and/or honey butter, and add the additional honey. Cook the apples until they are tender, but not caramelized.
When the apples are tender, mash them with a potato masher, keeping some chunks. Let the apples cool a bit, then mix them with whipped cream. Spread the apple and whipped cream mixture on the top of one cake.
Add the other cake and top with more of the apple and whipped cream mixture. I had some plain whipped cream leftover and I spread it on the sides of the cake. I also added some chocolate orange bits onto the top of the cake as well as some of the chocolate shavings and some more orange zest. Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to eat.
I also want to share that even I have my mishaps. For some strange reason, my egg whites did not fluff up the way they were supposed to. I whipped them for longer than necessary, but they never formed into stiff peaks. I even added a little cream of tartar, and still no peaks. The cake still came out fine, but it did not rise up the way it was supposed to, and is a little flatter than it should be. Oh well, these things happen, even to me. The moral of the story is that these things happen. Don’t give up and don’t get frustrated. As my idol, Julia Child, once said, “never apologize if the recipe didn’t turn out the way you wanted it too”. Just enjoy it as is, and try to do better next time. 🙂 Let them eat cake.