Recipe for the mexican Almond Sponge Cake (Torta de cielo)

A nice mexican recipe for what most people know as sponge cake, but with it's own mexican twist; it is made with almonds. To make it feel truly mexican, make sure the cake dough is dark and decorate the top of the cake with the icing sugar and the roasted almonds; serve it on a nice and lively plate...

Mexican recipe for the almond sponge cake:

Ingredients for one 8 inch cake:

- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 lb. of almonds with skin
- 1 cup of sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature then beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- some more butter, to butter-up the pan
- Icing sugar, to sprinkle over the cake
- Sliced and roasted almonds to garnish the cake


1- Soak the whole almonds in hot water for 6 hours; once this is done remove their skins as it should come off easily.

2 - Butter-up the sides and bottom of a cake pan, often mexicans will use a round pan, of approximately 8 inch diameter, and line it with parchment paper.

3 - Cut the almonds until you obtain a floury paste; reserve.

4 - Beat the butter with the sugar in a bowl until it becomes soft and spongy. Add the eggs, the almonds and two types of essence, and it mix all good.

5 - add the flour and the salt and mix it quickly, until the flour is well incorporated in the dough.

6 - Preheat the oven to 350˚F Spread the dough in the pan and smooth the surface. Cook the cake in the preheated oven 350˚F, from 40 until 50 minutes or until it is spongy on having pressed it lightly.

7 - Pull the mexican sponge cake out from the oven and allow it to cool down on a metallic grill. To serve it, place it on a nice colorful plate and sprinkle it with the icing sugar; decorate with the roasted almonds slices.

a hot pepper