We drove from Orange to Adelaide this week (and back), visiting customers and suppliers. And driving through the Riverena region passed some huge almond farms, all mid-harvest. It got me thinking about how best to use these beautiful fresh nuts - my Grandmother's Danish almond cake or Mandelrand.
This recipe really is worth printing out and keeping; it always works, takes very little time and effort, freezes beautifully and can be served with anything from poached fruit, a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of orange or chocolate sauce.
Gran was a clever and generous cook and I feel very lucky to have inherited her collection of beautifully printed recipe cards, each one carefully tested and tweaked just like this one.
Mandelrand or Almond cake
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
Finely grated rind of one orange
Grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin or ring cake mould with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180. Separate eggs. Beat yolks with sugar until pale and creamy. Add the almonds and stir through with orange rind. Whisk egg whites until stiff and then fold gently into the almond mixture. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in the tin a little before turning out onto a plate. You could drizzle with plain white or lemon icing, dust in icing sugar (as I generally do) or leave plain.
Note - Although a bit fiddly, it really is worth lining your cake tin for this recipe, all those eggs make it a rather sticky batter and lining avoids any problems turning the cake out.
Variation - Add a teaspoon of cinnamon with the almond meal.