Sardinian almond cake
Torta di mandorle
The recipe for this almond cake originates in Sardinia, but it can be found on breakfast tables all over Italy as a not too sweet start of the day.
Italian supermarkets sell almond cakes in convenient prefab versions, which may explain why this kind of torta di mandorla has become so popular on breakfast tables in hotels and Bed & Breakfasts throughout the country. Another explanation is the absence of animal fat and a relatively low sugar content, which means it is not the worst kind of food you can give your family in the morning compared to well-buttered toast and jam.
For the pastry
100 g almond flour (if you can’t buy readymade almond flour, you’ll have to blanch the almonds, remove the skin and grind them to a fine powder with a blender).
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
80 g sugar
½ vanilla pod
For the icing
2 tbsp lemon juice
150 powdered sugar
50 g blanched almond splits
Separate egg whites and egg yolks
Whisk eggs white until firm tops start to form.
Slice the vanilla pod open, scrape out the seeds and mix them with 1 tsp sugar to prevent them from forming a lump.
Beat etc yolks light and fluffy with sugar and vanilla sugar.
Mix almond flour with ordinary flour, finely grated lemon zest and baking powder.
Stir the dry ingredients with the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.
Pour the batter into a springform pan lined with baking paper.
Sardinian almond cake should bake for approximately 40 minutes at 175 C / 350 F.
Let the almond cake cool on a wire rack.
Stir powdered sugar with lemon juice and grated lemon zest to make icing.
Spread the icing over the cake and sprinkle with almond splits.