Looking for a flourless cake to serve this Passover? Try this rich concoction, created in Portugal for one of its dukes. “There’s no flour to give it body, only finely ground almonds, mashed potatoes and eggs,” writes Jean Anderson in “The Food of Portugal.” “The cake’s texture is very much like that of the chess pies so popular in the American South.”
Duke of Bragança Cake (Bolo Duque de Bragança)
2 1/4 cups sugar, divided use
8 tablespoons pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 large egg yolks
1 cup cold unseasoned mashed potatoes (measure firmly packed)
1/2 pound unblanched almonds, ground very fine
5 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
[amazon-product]0688134157[/amazon-product]Preheat the oven to moderately slow (325 degrees). Beat together 2 cups of the sugar and the butter until light (the mixture will be crumbly because of the high proportion of sugar); then beat in the yolks, one by one. Mix in the mashed potatoes, then the ground almonds. now beat together the egg whites and salt until frothy; beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoonful at a time, and continue beating to soft peaks; fold gently but thoroughly into the batter. Pour into a well-buttered 9-inch springform pan and bake 1 hour and 50 minutes until the cake pulls from the sides of the pan. The cakes’ surface will seem crisp, but will yield to the slightest pressure. Let the cake cool right-side up in the pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then loosen around the edges with a spatula; remove the springform sides, then carefully separate the cake from the pan bottom. Turn the cake over onto a dessert plate and cool thoroughly before cutting into slim wedges. Note: The cake will fall slightly as it cools, but this is as it should be.
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake.
Source: “The Food of Portugal” by Jean Anderson
Photo by Brian Lary