St James’s Cake

St James's Cake

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Tarta De Santiago Named after the patron saint of Spain, this cake is common in Galicia, where there is a shrine to St James (lago) in Santiago de Compostella. It is traditionally adorned with a stencil pattern of his sword using icing sugar. It is a flourless, butterless cake with whole almonds still in their skins, finely ground. You must use a coffee grinder or spice grinder - an ordinary food processor will not grind them finely enough. Alternatively, you can use ordinary ground almonds, but the flavour and colour will be different.
Servings: 8
Calories: 321


  • 8 3/4 oz whole almonds with skins
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 7 oz caster sugar
  • a large pinch of ground cinnamon
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • butter for greasing
  • fine sea salt
  • 24 cm deep springform cake tin greased with butter and base-lined (slash the paper so it reaches 3 cm up the sides)


  • Using a clean coffee grinder, grind the almonds until fine, with no lumps.
  • Put the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in half the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, to stabilize the whites.
  • Whisk the yolks with the remaining sugar and cinnamon until thick and the volume has increased. The mixture should leave a trail when you raise the whisk from the bowl.
  • Fold the ground almonds into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in a little of the whites to loosen the mixture, then fold in the remainder. Spoon into the tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for about 45 minutes until cooked, golden and firm but springy. Check after 35 minutes - if it is over-browning, cover with greaseproof paper and continue baking.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes then unmould onto the rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar using a stencil of St James's sword if you wish.
Calories: 321 kcal
Carbohydrates: 32 g
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 18g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Trans Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 123 mg
Sodium: 47 mg
Potassium: 265 mg
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 26 g
Vitamin A: 179 IU
Calcium: 101 mg
Iron: 2 mg
Dishes Cakes
Cuisine Spanish
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