This cake has its origins from the Middle Ages and originates from Galicia in Spain. It is called “tarta de santiago” in spanish and in english St. James cake because of its design of the Saint James Cross. Its a simple no fuss gluten free cake which is easy to make. It is usually flavoured with lemon, orange rinds and cinnamon…but it can be also flavoured with a tinge of spanish saffron as a twist. If in Spain you will see this cake available in so many supermarkets and if you have eaten this cake in spain and want to know how to make it once back home , look no further! Its very easy to make and has no fancy frosting , so if you find baking and decorating cakes daunting maybe you should try to make this one? If you are entertaining this makes a lovely dessert served with some icecream or a simple custard. A cross is cut out of paper and placed on the cake after is has been baked. The cake is then sprinkled with icing or powdered sugar. The cross is then removed and that is the way the original santiago cake is.
250 grams of finely ground almonds, its important you use finely ground almonds
250 grams of sugar
5 large farm fresh eggs
1 tablespoon of orange or lemon rind or half half
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to sprinkle ontop (you can grind the sugar in the blender…i used my magic bullet)
1 tiny knob of butter to grease the baking pan
a few strands of Nitu Didi Spanish saffron (if making the saffron flavoured one)
Heat the oven to 175 degrees. Greast a 22 cm cake tin with the knob of butter. Beat the eggs with the flavouring of your choice (if choosing the original flavours : orange and lemon rind with the ground cinnamon) or the saffron. Mix the sugar with the ground almonds and then add it to the beaten eggs and give it a good stir. Put it into the oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from the pan. Place the paper cut cross on the cake and then sprinkle with powdered sugar or icing sugar. Remove the cross carefully. Below i shall show the image of the cake how its sold in Spain.
NITU DIDI TIP:
This cake does not have any rising agent and so is quite dense in texture. It is also quite sweet so be sure to serve small portions!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFRON
Saffron is taken in small amounts daily for overall wellness. It helps counter depression and insomia. Saffron is considered as a blood purifier. It also lowers cholesterol. To buy a good quality spanish saffron at a reasonable price do message me 🙂
THIS IS THE ORIGINAL SANTIAGO CAKE AVAILABLE IN SHOPS