I often sing the praises of almonds grown in Spain. They grow in vast numbers, especially in the La Alpujarra mountain range. Almonds are used in so much Spanish cooking and in so many different ways. Here they are the core ingredient behind a very good Spanish pudding, almond cake. The almonds are best prepared by soaking in boiling water until the skins loosen and can be popped off with ease. Prepared in this manner, the almonds produce more flavour.


  • 200 grams of blanched almonds, ground
  • 150 mils of extra virgin olive oil and extra for oiling the tin
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 165 grams of light brown sugar
  • 100 grams of plain flour, sifted


Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius/gas mark 4. In a processor, or with an electric whisk or by hand, whisk the olive oil, sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy. Usually for between 10 and 15 minutes.
The whisking is important as it beats air into the mixture and makes it light. Now gently fold in all but two handfuls of the almonds and all the sifted flour until evenly mixed, taking care not to knock out any air. Pour into a 26cm flan or pastry tin. Sprinkle the remaining ground almonds on top and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cake is firm and golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack before serving.