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Bolo de Amêndoa

(Portuguese Almond Torte)
Adapted for Passover from a recipe by David Leite
Serves 10 to 12, richly

170g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
Icing sugar, for coating the pan
500g (3 cups) blanched slivered almonds
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
Icing Sugar

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 170C (350F). Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or margarine, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the paper. Coat the pan with icing sugar and tap out the excess.

Grind the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a food processor until the consistency of fine cornmeal. Make sure the almonds are as finely chopped as possible. Add the butter or margarine and pulse to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held mixer in a big bowl, beat 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the yolks on medium-high until very light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the zest, salt, and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Add the almond mixture and vanilla.

In an impeccably clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy then slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until the whites form soft, luscious peaks. Add about one third of the egg whites to the almond mixture and stir to lighten. Carefully fold in the remainder of the whites until no streaks show. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before serving. The middle will collapse a bit; that is as it should be. Sift icing sugar on top of cake before serving.

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