When I am invited to a dinner party and asked to bring the dessert, “Torta del Cielo” is everyone’s favorite. If I’m in a hurry, a great place to buy the cake is the traditional Merida bakery “La Valle.” But if I have time, I make the cake from the recipe found in “A Yucatan Kitchen” by my great friend Loretta Scott-Miller.
Loretta and her husband Ken lived in Yucatan for nine years. When she returned to the USA a few years ago, her legacy was the cookbook that many of us use nearly every day. You can purchase Loretta’s testimonial to living in Yucatan at Amate Books here in Merida on Calle 60 and 51st or you can go on line at Amazon
Torta de Cielo
2 cups whole peeled almonds
1 tablespoon of white flour
1 ½ cups white sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond flavoring
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 or 10 inch spring-form cake pan and line it with waxed paper or parchment, also greased
In a food processor, grind the almonds with a little of the sugar until they are very fine and almost form a paste. Add the flour and process until well mixed.
In a large clean metal or glass bowl, mix the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Continue beating, while adding the remaining sugar, until the peaks are stiff and shiny.
Beat the yolks separately and fold them into the whites little by little, careful not to break down the lightness of the meringue. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and dribble in the flavoring. Using a spatula, make sure all the ingredients are well folded together.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, until the cake is golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack for5 minutes. Unmold and allow the cake to cool completely.
Place the cake on a platter (I use a glass pedestal one) and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. The cake is lovely on its own and still lovelier, topped with fresh fruit!
Serves: 8 – 10