Although this particular cake is said to be a combination of the French and Mallorcan cuisine and originated in the 18th century, the Mallorcan people have been growing and cooking with almonds for many centuries. In fact, almonds from Mallorca enjoy a good reputation for being of high quality, and there are over one hundred types of almonds from the island.
It is easy to prepare in a little less than one hour if you have eggs, almonds, a lemon, and some sugar in the pantry. Grind the almonds, grate the lemon peel and beat together with the yolks and mix in the whites. Bake and you have a lovely dessert. In Mallorca, it is traditionally served with almond ice cream. Preparation instructions for an easy almond ice cream appear below the cake recipe.
Cake or Gató
- Heat the oven to 360F (180C) degrees.
- Grease a springform pan approximately 8 inches (22 cm) in diameter. If a springform pan is not available, use a glass pie pan.
- Grind the almonds in a food processor or blender. Use slivered almonds with the skin removed to reduce preparation time. If using whole raw almonds, blanch first, then peel, dry and grind. Follow our easy instructions on How to Blanch Almonds.
- Grate the yellow part of the lemon peel, called the zest, using a "micro planer" or grater. Be careful to avoid the pith, the white, fibrous membrane underneath because it is bitter.
- Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs into two medium size mixing bowls.
- Pour granulated sugar into egg yolks and beat on high until yolks lighten in color and increase in volume. Add the ground almonds and lemon zest and mix well with a spoon or spatula.
- Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks in the other bowl. Then, carefully fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Gently pour the batter into the greased pan and bake on center rack for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
- Allow to cool, then run a knife around outside of a pan and unmold. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar before serving.
Almond Ice Cream
- Place the can of evaporated milk into the freezer for 24 hours.
- Using a fork, smash the turron up into small pieces in a mixing bowl. Open the evaporated milk can and put contents into another bowl. Beat on high using an electric beater until milk begins to increase in volume. While continuing to beat, pour in honey. Mix in the pieces of soft turron with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Pour mixture into a freezer safe container or Pyrex bowl. After one hour, remove from freezer and mix to break up the ice. Do that for 3-4 hours until the turron is complete and mixed into the milk.
- Serve the gató or cake with a scoop of almond ice cream.