Saturday 5 July 2014

Torta de Almendras...& a different evening

This week has been a whirl...thanks so much to all who have read &/or commented on my last post...Sugar Moon has been and will always be a labour of love for me, and I am thrilled that it's been received so well. It was great to send out the first orders in our gorgeous new boxes and receive amazing feedback too! We now have a Facebook page where you can read all the latest news and see what others have to say...if you haven't already, do please visit and 'Like' us!!

Wednesday was particularly busy...baking all morning (5am start...although that's no hardship at this time of year and I'm a lark rather than an owl, luckily!) then I attended a charity lunch at a beautiful barn set in some of the most beautiful countryside that Bucks has to was a very hot, sunny day but while the others quaffed Pimms I stuck firmly to the Rhubarb & Elderflower cooler and the water...too much to do to drink alcohol midday, sadly! When I got back, I had to deliver 60 trays of brownies and other goodies to a customer before changing and catching a train to London, touting a bag full of warm cake!

I was heading to Islington, to the Cookbook Club run by food writer and tv presenter Thane Prince . It's held usually once a month (although there is a break in August) in a large room over a great pub, The Draper's Arms. There's a nominal £10 fee to cover refreshments and there's always a theme...the idea is to bring a book and a dish with a link to whatever that may be. This time it was Iberia. I didn't have much time and wanted to take something that could cool down on the way, safely, as well as being delicious of course! So I found a recipe for a lovely traditional Almond Cake - Torta de Almendras in Spanish.

It was so simple to make and keeps well...the leftovers were delicious over the next couple of days with a good cup of coffee!
Quite plain but very damp and moreish...
So here's the recipe!
Adapted from one by Jane Berenbau on this site ...I have tweaked it, as I never can resist doing so!

Torta de Almendras

Preheat oven to 170c
Grease and line a 23cm (9") loose-bottomed round cake tin with baking parchment

300g blanched almonds (or you can use ready ground if easier)
80g Maria/Rich Tea type plain biscuits - I used Morning Coffee biscuits
280g caster sugar
6 eggs
2 oranges
grated zest of 1 lemon
25g blanched flaked almonds

In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until very thick and pale - about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grind the almonds with the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble fine meal.
Zest and juice the oranges. Alternately fold the almond/biscuit mixture and the orange juice & citrus zest into the eggs & sugar, using a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin, scatter the flaked almonds gently over the top and bake for around 45 minutes. When baked, the top will be golden brown with a slight crust and a skewer inserted into the centre will be almost clean with just a few bits of mixture clinging to it.

Cool on a wire rack, in the tin (loosen the sides)

It keeps well, covered at room temperature, for at least 3 days.

The Cookbook Club was great fun...although there weren't many of us there this time, we so enjoyed each others company as well as the range of delicious food....and it was brilliant to have a couple of hours to relax, meet new friends and chat about our favourite subject - food! We were very lucky to have the expert in Catalan cooking, Rachel McCormack, to talk to us as well. If it sounds like fun to you, then please do join us!! It's open to and women, knowledgeable or just need an interest in eating really!

The next meeting is on September 10th at 7pm and the be Wild Food. My brain is buzzing with ideas already!

Hoping you've had a good week....

Until next time x


  1. How lovely and delicious! Good luck to you in your new adventure, Rachel!

  2. I could have this with tea.

  3. Hello dearest! I love the idea of a cookbook club! So glad you had a fun time. The torta de almendras looks divine. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks like something I may have to try myself! xoxo

  4. Your cookbook club event sounded so much fun. I do need to get involved in more of that sort of thing when we get settled. Many of my wonderful cookbooks are still in boxes, along with dishes, cutlery, etc. It's been 3 years of 'looking' and planning...time to settle in but more of that as we figure this whole thing out. I love how you come up with dishes to suit different situations. AND, the fact that you tweak dishes. I do the same! Just can't leave it alone for some reason!! So, I smile when I read that you do the same.... won't you come see us someday....? xx


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