This cake is a specialty of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The area is famous for the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Santiago translates to English as James and the story is that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are several routes you can take to Compostela and they were heavily traveled in the Middle Ages. Today people travel from all over the world to walk the route and it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is a flourless almond cake named after St James. It is usually topped with the symbol of the sword of St James. Although crosses are also appropriate.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups finely ground almonds
Separate 4 eggs into 2 large bowls.
Beat yolks, gradually incorporating ¾ cup sugar.
Fold in 2 ¼ cups finely ground almonds.
Whisk egg whites until foamy
Gradually beat in ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff
Stir 1/3 of egg whites into almond mixture, then carfully fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches.
Pour batter into buttered 9-inch cake pan and bake until done – about 30-35 minutes
Allow to cool
Dust with powdered sugar.