Bolbo de Amendoa (Almond Cake)

On our honeymoon in Portugal, I discovered almond cake and it was my favourite gluten free find.  When I got home I looked for recipes that were close to what I had on vacation, this is one of them that has become a family favourite.

3 cups blanched slivered almonds
175 ml unsalted butter, room temperature or 125 ml oil
4 large egg yolks
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C) and adjust the rack to the middle. Butter a 10-inch spring form pan and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the almonds until ground into a course powder the consistency of corn meal.

3. Put the ground almonds into a medium bowl and mix with the butter. Set aside.

4. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the yolks, sugar and vanilla together on medium high until light and fluffy about 6 – 8 minutes. Add the almond and butter and mix until combined.

5. In an impeccably clean bowl, whisk the egg whites by hand or with a handhold mixer to soft peaks (when you lift the whisk upright the tip of the whites should gracefully loop over itself like old-fashioned soft-serve ice cream). Add a spatula of the whites into the egg-almond mixture and stir to lighten the mixture. Carefully fold in the remainder of the whites until no streaks of white show. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake the cake for 40 – 60 minutes until the centre is springy to the touch and the sides begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove it to a rack and let cool completely then unmold.

NOTE: if the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil.

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