Cooking with Le boyfriend [Torta Santiago]

_DSC1004There are thing that don’t usually happens in our household, one of them is Le boyfriend cooking, on his own….because he wants to. It just doesn’t hapen, the worst part is that when he does he actually cook delicious things but it takes an army to drag him to the kitchen.

As part of Auckland Restaurant month we went to The Black Hoof on Wyndham Street for some tapas and paella. The set menu didn’t included dessert but we were feeling something sweet so we ordered what was called a Torta de Santiago (Saint James Cake) and since then, Le Boyfriend has been obsessed with it.

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So much that when I got back from eating my weight in food for Sunday’s brunch club I found him in the kitchen, with and apron on….baking
(who are you and what have you done with Le Boyfriend)

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To make it even better and in an incredibly proud moment the following words were uttered: ‘I have everything ready but I haven’t started just in case you wanted to take some photos for the blog’

So with out further ado, here is the recipe for Le Boyfriends Torta Santiago. (Recipe from Epicurious)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound (1 3/4 cups) blanched whole almonds
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

(He didn’t use it but if you want you can add 4 drops of almond extract)

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Preparation:

Finely grind the almonds in a food processor.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).

Grease an 25cm round pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.


After realizing he was missing half the almond flour, using the wrong sugar and confused the egg whites with the egg yolks I made some tweaks and I left him to cook while I continued my ‘Juanita’ duties, which including cutting a Saint James Cross from a piece of paper.

[Note: Juanita (Little Jane) was the kitchen hand of a well know Argentinian tv cook Doña Petrona, our very own Julia Child if you will. She became an icon herself and it’s very common in Argentina when someone is cooking and needs help to refer to the person helping them as ‘Juanita’ mocking the way Doña Petrona used to talk]

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Once again, the boy can cook and the cake tasted amazing, the meringue base made the pastry really fluffy and light and the almond flour gave a really good after taste. He thought it was a good idea to pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream which took it to the next level, but its not super necessary if you don’t want to add it. Hopefully I’ll find Le Boyfriend hiding in the kitchen more often we’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next time. Jules.-

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Written by julesinabox