Samantha’s recipe corner
Hailing from the sundrenched Adriatic island of Rab, this soft, squishy almond cake was reportedly first served to Pope Alexander III in 1177, and quickly became a favourite with the island's monks and nuns. It's now a classic dish wheeled out at weddings, baptisms and other special occasions.
I've chosen to make my Rab Cake in a traditional spiral shape, but all sorts of designs are now popular.
INGREDIENTS For the pastry: 250g flour 25g butter 1 tsp sugar 1 egg 1 tbsp water pinch of salt For the filling:
500g ground almonds 450g sugar 3 tbsp Maraschino (or cherry brandy) 3 eggs zest of 1 orange zest of 1 lemon icing sugar (for dusting)
Make the pastry by kneeding together the flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and water until it forms a firm mixture. Wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, orange and lemon zest, eggs and Maraschino to make the filling.
Roll out the pastry thinly, and place on baking paper on an oven tray.
Lay the filling on the pastry in a spiral shape.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into a spiral, follow the shape of the filling, but leave a little extra space on both sides.
Pull the edges of the pastry up to make the sides, so that the filling is contained.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for around 40 minutes or until golden.
Cool, then dust with icing sugar before serving.
“Perfect for fans of marzipan or cherry bakewell”
Difficulty: 5/10 Time: 1 hour
Rab cake: a heavenly almond pastry first served to the pope