Toucinho do Ceu

Egg and Almond Cake

Although often described as a cake, this Portuguese dessert is perhaps more of a pudding in texture. A small piece makes the perfect mouthful to accompany a tiny cup of strong black coffee.


  • 250 g (½ lb) granulated sugar
  • 100 mls (3 ½ oz) water
  • 125 g (generous 4 oz) blanched and halved or whole almonds
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 whole free-range egg
  • 1 scant tablespoon plain flour, sifted
  • ½ free-range egg white lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon caster sugar – for glaze
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated or preserving sugar


Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring to the boil, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the almonds, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool. Beat in the butter, eggs and flour, and pour the mixture into a well-buttered cake tin about 18-20 cm. (7-8 inches) square. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at about 150½C/300½F/gas mark 3, for about 40 to 45 minutes. When the cake is cooked, a skewer poked into the middle will emerge clean. Cool the cake in the tin, and then turn onto a plate. Brush the top with the glaze, and when just tacky, sift on the coarser sugar.