This simple almond cake with its beautiful design is sold in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, at the end of the Way of St. James, a pilgrimage that has existed since the 9th century. The cross is that of St James, whose relics are believed to lie in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
As a traditional cake, I didn't want to stray far from existing recipes -- I based this on Claudia Roden's recipe in The Food of Spain. I halved the recipe as I tend to make small cakes. If you want to make a bigger one, double the recipe and use an 11-inch tin. I also removed the almond extract, as I'm not a fan and I think the almond flavour is strong enough without it. —Poires au Chocolat
6 to 8 slices
grams (1 cup) blanched whole almonds
grams (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon (or 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 an orange)