My husband and I are not dessert people, and when we are back in North America, I only seem to bake when we are having guests over, or when the family is visiting. Here in Umbria however, I bake often for our farmhouse renters, and to have something on hand to offer any Italian workers, such as our handy-man. I do not consider myself a “baker”, as baking is precision cooking and requires strict measuring. You also need a lot of patience and baking anything elaborate just takes too much time in my opinion. I love to cook, but prefer things I can pull together using fresh, local ingredients, adding, and tasting as I go. That simply cannot happen when baking. This cake however, cannot be any easier to make, and you do not even need an electric mixer!
I had this almond cake in my files for months and finally pulled it out this week to try. Although I used grapefruits to try something different, you could certainly substitute lemons or oranges instead. This cake uses a lot of eggs, and that plus the syrup drizzled on top after the cake has baked creates a lovely, moist cake. This cake is gluten free as well, since no flour, only ground almonds are used. If you can find almond meal at your local specialty store, that would work fine. I made my own by blending blanched almonds in my food processor until they were ground almost as fine as sand. The almonds give this cake a lovely texture, and the grapefruit is citrusy, but not overpowering.
Deborah Mele 2016
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 3 Cups Finely Ground Almonds
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 8 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature, Lightly Beaten
- 1 1/2 Cups Sunflower Oil
- Finely Grated Zest From Two Medium Grapefruits
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- Juice From Two Grapefruits (About 1 Cup)
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, almonds, and baking powder.
- Make a well in the center, then pour in the eggs, oil, grapefruit zest, and vanilla extract.
- Stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon until blended.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about an hour, or until a cake tester comes out cleanly when inserted into the center.
- While the cake is baking, bring the grapefruit juice and sugar to a boil.
- Continue to cook until the mixture becomes syrupy, then set aside.
- Once the cake has baked, allow to cool 10 minutes.
- Use a skewer to poke holes into the top of the cake, then spoon some of the syrup on top.
- Brush the sides with the remaining syrup, then allow to cool to room temperature before serving.