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Shabby almond tart

>> Thursday, October 1, 2009


This hybrid of tart/cake looks shabby. And it's all my fault. But it's so delicious that still it deserves a whole post. It's very similar to tarta de Santiago, very typical from Galicia, only in this case the eggs are whipped with the sugar until light and fluffy, yielding a much lighter tart than the Santiago type.


But let's start from the beginning. Like Sophia Petrillo, one of my idols, used to say: picture it, Sicily, 1920... ahem, Galapagar, non defined year... I had prepared this tart a long time ago, from a Thermomix recipe in the Internet (unknown author). I had found it delicious and very easy. I had baked it for some celebration where all the guests loved it. In spite of that, I had never made it again. And now I felt like testing it in a sugar-less fashion, for the sake of health. On top of that, it's a gluten-free recipe, double healthy. No baking powder either. Couldn't be simpler.

Almond tart/cake

  • 250g almonds
  • 250g sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • Lemon zest
That's the original recipe and here goes my tweaking: I substituted 100g fructose and 50g agave syrup for all the sugar (fructose and agave are sweeter than sugar). I didn't dare to use only agave syrup because it's liquid and I was afraid it could interfere with the airing of the eggs (I don't know if that can happen). There's a lot of controversy regarding the benefits of fructose, I know... When you substitute agave syrup for sugar you need to reduce the global amount of liquid, therefore I used only five eggs instead of six.


Firstly grind the almonds if you haven't bought almond meal. Then whip the eggs with the sweetener until light, fluffy and almost white in color. In my Thermomix it's very easy: fit the butterfly, add the eggs and the sweetener or sugar, and set 8 minutes at 40° and speed 3 (Thermomix 21). Turn the heat off after 2 minutes and let the mixture cream for the remaining time. Of course you can cream the eggs with the sugar in any mixer, like here. Mild heat is supposed to aid the creaming, therefore I've seen the advice to put the mixture in a bowl which is inside another bowl with tepid water (I haven't tried this though).

Once the eggs are creamed, add the ground almonds and the lemon zest, either with the mixer or with a spatula. I forgot to add the lemon zest... that was my first mistake. The second mistake was that I used a removable-base mold that I only buttered and floured (with rice flour to keep the thing gluten-free); because of the high sugar content the tart is very sticky and it indeed got stuck to the base and walls. I had to struggle to peel it off, that's why its looks are not... let's say... perfect. OK, I could have used a beautiful frosting to hide the disaster, but I generally hate frostings, unless they are made of marzipan... but wait, that's not frosting, is it? I find a much wiser option is to line the mold with parchment paper, thoroughly buttered. I almost forget: bake the tart/cake in the oven at 180 ºC for half an hour approx., depending on the browning. Better try with a toothpick for doneness (a fondue stick in my case) . It rises quite a lot in the oven, although it sinks when cold (maybe that's not the purpose, but it does happen to me). But, in spite of all my mistakes, the flavor was excellent. The consistency is very moist and fluffy. You can play around with the almond, using a more finely ground or less finely ground almond. I like mine not too fine, so that you get a nice crunch in each bite. And I'm sure you're wondering if there is any noticeable difference by using fructose instead of sugar. Well, yes, fructose caramelizes at 110 ºC, while sugar does it at 160 ºC, therefore there's a noticeable caramel flavor which you don't get with sugar. That is, the result is different, but equally delicious. And a lot less energetic.


You can sprinkle some powdered fructose or cinnamon or both for finishing. I find that cinnamon is a good match. I encourage you to make this tart, I know you'll do it right, the same as me next time...

30 comentarios:

janet October 2, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

That looks delicious, and I love recipes with a short ingredient list!

Tania October 2, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

This recipe is very interesting and the cake is very delicious!

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta October 2, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

This tart is not shabby at all!

TasteHongKong October 2, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

This cake not only deserves one whole post but also a thumb up. I like the way you substitute fructose and syrup for sugar while reducing the amount of egg.
I'd love to adopt this so-called shabby cake.

Diana Bauman October 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

Miriam, this is amazing! I need to buy some almonds just to make this!

Jessie October 2, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

that looks amazing I love you used healthier ingredients to make this tart/cake. This cake shouldn't shabby, it should be awesome :)

Tasty Eats At Home October 2, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

I love this! Since going gluten-free, I'm discovering the amazingness of almond meal. It makes such beautiful cakes! This doesn't look shabby, it looks delicious!

Erica October 3, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

I love your blog!!!!! What a great pictures :)

Arabic Bites October 3, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

Beautiful and elegant tart,I'll try this recipe for sure :)

lululu October 3, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

i agree. i think the beautiful picture has already deserved this whole post!

pierre October 4, 2009 at 8:49 AM  

Hello Madrid this is Pierre from Paris in France; your tart looks damned fluffy i want a bite !!
and if you want to see some french creative cuisine come and see me you are most welcome cheers Pierre

Ruth October 4, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

So light and delicious!

Miriam October 4, 2009 at 11:21 AM  

Janet: me too!
Tania: thanks!
Rachel: thanks, you're a real friend... ;-)
TastHK: thanks!
Diana: thanks, you should!
Jessie: thanks!
Tasty: you see, this is a traditional type of cake in Spain that now becomes fashionable with the gluten-free thing...
Erica: thanks, I love yours too!
Arabic girls: thanks a lot!
Lululu: thank you!
Pierre: I will surely follow your blog, I didn't know it!
Ruth: thanks!

Simply Life October 4, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

Oh that tart looks AMAZING!!!

Joan Nova October 4, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

I don't have the typical sweet tooth so I don't gravitate to gooey, overly sweet desserts but I am big fan of almonds so tarta de Santiago has always been appealing to me (and not because it's from Galicia :)). Yours looks delicious and I like that you didn't grind the almonds super fine. I wonder if you figured out how many calories you saved by your tweaking.

Sophie October 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

What a georgous looking cake!!

Must taste divine!! MMMMMMMMM,...lovely!!!

Miriam October 4, 2009 at 10:03 PM  

Simply Life: thanks!
Joan: I really didn't figure out the calories, because what I aim to is to eliminate the sugar, which is quite harmful anyway, regardless of the calories. In principle I've always heard that the calories content of fructose is more or less half the content in sugar. Besides you need less amount because it's sweeter than sugar. That means in this case the calories were reduced more or less to a third.
Sophie: Thanks!

Diana Bauman October 5, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

Hi Miriam, I left you a little something on my blog ;) Just recognition to show my readers a few of my favorites :) Un Beso!

sabah October 6, 2009 at 1:46 AM  

Very nice, I love it.

Esme October 6, 2009 at 7:02 AM  

This looks delicious.

My Little Space October 6, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

Hi Mariam, you've a very interesting blog here and I love all your tart recipes. They all look so perfectly done & delicious...Thanks for sharing!

Miriam October 6, 2009 at 9:44 PM  

Diana: thanks a lot!
Sabah: thank you!
Esme: you should try it!
My little space: thank youuuu!

Shwetha October 8, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

Shabby???!?! what? were? the only thing that is shabby is me sitting in my PJs drooling over my keyboard. It's gorgeous!

Anna October 8, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

This tart looks so good, wow, I love anything with almond. Will definitely try this one.Thanks.

Miriam October 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

Shwetha: :-) thanks!
Anna: you're welcome!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen October 15, 2009 at 5:31 PM  

wow! This looks fantastic. I think that often the simplest foods taste the best, but can be tricky. Your directions make it all very clear.

Miriam October 16, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

Monkeyshines: thanks, it's good to know that my English is understandable... :-)

Frenchie October 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM  

I love the idea of this cake, like a fluffier larger financier. I have only really had chocolate cakes of this sort, but since I am not a huge fan of chocolate this seems perfect for me. Thanks for a great idea!

Miriam October 26, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Frenchie, thanks for visiting so that I could discover your blog!

Anonymous November 6, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

That cake looks gorgeous! I bet it smells and tastes awesome too!

Thanks for posting and for sharing!

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