Recipe for Almond Sponge Cake


    Almond Sponge Cake (Torta de Cielo)

    This is called literally "cake of heaven."

    1/2 pound almonds
    Hot water to cover almonds
    5 eggs, separated
    2 pinches of salt
    1/2 pound granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon brandy
    1/8 teaspoon almond extract

    Pour hot water over the almonds so that they are well covered and let them soak for at least 6 hours.

    Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan well, then dust with flour.

    Position oven rack to the middle. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Chop the nuts and grind them a little at a time. They should not be too coarse or too fine. Set aside.

    Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add salt and continue beating until whites are stiff. Add yolks, one at a time, and continue beating until they are incorporated.

    Mix the dry ingredients together and, beating at low speed of an electric mixer, gradually add them to the eggs. Add the brandy and almond extract, mix well, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cake from the pan after it is cold. This cake keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in the refrigerator.