Almond Sponge Cake (Torta de Cielo)
This is called literally "cake of heaven."
This cake keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
- 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 spring-form pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan well, then dust with flour.
- Position oven rack to the middle. Heat 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.