Tarta de Santiago is a traditional dessert from the Spanish region of Galicia. It is a delicious almond cake that is made with just a few simple ingredients, including ground almonds, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest.
The cake is named after the city of Santiago de Compostela, which is the final destination of the famous pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago. Legend has it that the cake was first created by nuns in a local convent and was later popularized by pilgrims who would stop in the city on their way to the shrine of St. James.
To make Tarta de Santiago, ground almonds are mixed with sugar and lemon zest, and then combined with beaten eggs to form a thick batter. The batter is then poured into a round cake pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper. The cake is baked in the oven until it is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once the cake has cooled, it is traditionally dusted with powdered sugar in the shape of the cross of St. James, which is the emblem of the Camino de Santiago. The result is a simple yet delicious cake that is perfect for any occasion.
Here is a recipe for Tarta de Santiago:
250g ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds, sugar, and lemon zest.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the almond mixture. Stir well to combine.
Grease a 9-inch (23cm) cake pan with butter and then line the bottom with parchment paper.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes.
Carefully remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled, dust it with powdered sugar in the shape of the cross of St. James.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: Some variations of the recipe call for adding a splash of sweet sherry or brandy to the batter before baking. This can add a nice flavor to the cake, but it is optional.