Thursday, July 28, 2011

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake : Free and Easy Bake-Along #6

A simple cake with simple ingredients, but so tasty and so good! Catalan Salt Pinch Cake is our Bake-Along No. 6, together with Lena and Zoe. I made this cake twice. The first time I made this, the cake was flat with  an "eggy" smell to it. I knew then, that I did not beat the egg whites long enough. Dissatisfied, I made this again, and this time making sure that I beat the egg whites till really thick and glossy as instructed. 

It came out really fluffy, soft and very tasty. This cake is similar to our local sponge cake. This time, it doesn't have the 'eggy' smell, as the lemon zest gives it a light lemony fragrance. 

Just as Rose says, this cake is best eaten by pinching! She's right! I did cut a slice to eat and somehow it is not the same as pinching some from the pan! Do not remove the parchment paper till the whole cake is consumed. Try it! It's a fun way of eating cake! The kids enjoyed eating it this way!

According to Rose, this cake was created in 1985 in Spain by Salt Bakery. This cake does not contain any oil or salt. The egg whites and the sugar must be whisked till really thick and glossy. Be prepared to whisk the egg yolks into the meringue 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking for 2 minutes after each addition. This took me about half an hour. But it is so worth it! My family loves it. I made this the evening before, ate a small piece to try and the next day, my son took some to school (he seldom asks for cakes to bring to school)! My daughter took some for breakfast and my hubby ate most of it, leaving me ....

....with this piece! I had this with a cup of Chinese tea. A lovely and light cake to snack on anytime of the day! Definitely worth making again. Let's go over to Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of  Bake For Happy Kids and see their Catalan Salt Pinch Cake.

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman. Feel free to join in if you have this book, and just post it on 15/08, there's no linky to link to, as this is a Free and Easy Bake-Along! 

I'm sharing this with
Full Plate Thursday over at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Bake With Bizzy over at Bizzy B. Bakes
Dessert Recipe Linky Party over at Joy Of Desserts
Sweets For A Saturday over at Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake
(adapted from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 4 ounces / 112 gms sliced almonds, preferably unblanched
3/4 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons, divided / 6.3 ounces / 181 gms superfine sugar (I use 150gm)
6 large eggs / 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (9.5 fluid ounces) / 10.6 ounces / 300 gms 
2 large egg whites / 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) / 2 ounces / 60 gms
1 teaspoon, loosely packed lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (or 1/2 cup) / 2 ounces / 56 gms, cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour)

One 9 by 2-1/2 to 3 inch springform or cake pan, coated with shortening, bottom and sides lined with parchment. For the sides cut a 33 by 3-inch band of parchment, overlapping an extra piece if necessary to make it long enough. Wrap and press it against the inside wall of the pan. Use some extra shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place against the first strip of parchment.
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
TOAST AND GRIND THE ALMONDS : (I skipped this step as I use almond meal)
Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until pale golden. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and 2-1/2 tablespoons of the sugar until as fine as possible. Stop before the nuts start to become pasty.
Pour the whole eggs into a 2-cup measure with a spout and whisk them lightly to break them up.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, stopping the mixer once to scrape down sides of the bowl. Continue beating until the meringue is very thick and glossy, but it will not be smooth. Detach the whisk from the mixer and use it to stir the almond mixture into the meringue until evenly incorporated.
Reattach the whisk beater and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the beaten egg to the meringue 2 tablespoons at a time, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. It should take a total of 20 to 25 minutes, but be sure to beat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest. Remove the bowl and beater from the stand. While the mixture is beating, weigh or measure out the flour.
Sift the flour onto the batter and, using the whisk beater or a large balloon whisk, fold in the flour until fully incorporated. Reach to the bottom of the bowl and be sure that no white specks of flour remain. The best way to accomplish this is with your fingers, pinching any bits of flour to moisten them. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. (If using a 2-inch-high pan, the batter will come almost to the top of the pan).
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed very lightly in the center. The cake will rise just a little and then sink slightly in the center.
Set the pan on a wire rack and immediately loosen and remove the sides, leaving the parchment attached to the cake. (If using a solid pan, lift the cake out using the parchment and set it on the wire rack). Allow the cake to cool until it is warm or room temperature, about 1 hour. Set the cake, still in the parchment, on a serving plate. (Leave the parchment in place until the entire cake is consumed).

Delicious eaten in the traditional way by pinching out pieces of the fluffy cake, the cake is also lovely for a tea: Serve pinched or sliced with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream. The cake keeps wrapped airtight for 1 week at room temperature, for 10 days refrigerated, and for 6 months frozen.


  1. That is the softest n fluffiest cake I have seen ~ simplicity at its best!
    US Masala

  2. Yum it looks so good, this is my kind of cake. I don't think anyone else will get any ;D

  3. cake looks so soft and moist. Great preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. Ooo.... the cake looks so soft and fluffy. Very nice golden color too.

  5. Your cake look fantastic! It looks very "tall" and fluffy. Like yours, my family loves it too.

  6. Wow this looks really good and at first thought, I thought it would be a salty cake but it looks just like the type of cake I will like :)

  7. What a cute way to eat this cake! Pinching!

  8. awesome will love to pinch and eat...

  9. The cake looks soft and fluffy. I want a pinch of the cake too :)

  10. Looks so soft and fluffy yet simple to make!

  11. I have Rose's Heavenly Cakes. It's a great cookbook. Your cake looks beautiful. Thank you for participating and linking to Joy of Desserts. :-)

  12. I just gotten this book recently, and have yet to try any recipes..This cake sound good, might try one day.

  13. Yours looks pretty good too! Very nice crumbs.

  14. super yummy and super soft cake! double like

  15. Yum! That looks so light and fluffy!

  16. I fully support cake pinching! This looks fabulous :)

  17. joyce, that's a tall cake! yeah, i could have done somthing to the egg yolks or egg whites but glad to know that both you and zoe enjoyed the cake so much!

  18. wow very impressive, the texture looks lovely. bumma it failed first time around

  19. Very nice cake recipe, I love it, looks absolutely nice, big hugs.

  20. What a lovely and fun to eat cake. I like your free-and-easy bake along too.

  21. You've made me curious to try the cake. Your photos make it very appealing. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  22. What a fun cake...does look incredibly moist :)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  23. Looks absolutely moist..

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  24. That cake looks so moist and yummy. Love the lemon!

  25. Delicious cake, so soft and fluffy

  26. woww.. this is new to me.. looks so soft and delicious :0

  27. This looks like a super delicious cake! Love the lemon and almonds in it, too! Fab!

  28. Hi Joy,
    This is a great cake and looks like it is just full of wonderful flavor.I can't wait to try it! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  29. Your cake had to be a hit for sure! It looks delicious! I know exactly what you mean by the "eggy" thing and it's good to know that lemon is the cure for it. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Very cool! Thank you for teaching me something new about cakes! Looks amazing..... I did gain plenty of weight living in Spain living on Magdalenas! Delicious -