Trips to Ikea are amazing for two reasons: the little wooden pencils – and Mandeltårta, a gluten-free, layered almond tart, slathered with intensely-sweet (delicious) cream topping. Or at least they were amazing – these days, treats crammed with refined sugar and dairy-fats are off the table (so to speak). This weekend, however, the beloved and I have been a little sickly, and therefore craving some comforting snacks. Queue Piglet-kitchen time, and an attempt to Paleo-ify this Scandi classic. The sun has been shining, albeit anaemically, through our garden doors lately, and in a desperate attempt to convince myself that summer is on its way, I decided to stray from the classic marzipan-flavoured sticky topping, and add a coconut-citrus twist.
The tart is made up of two layers of almond cake, and two layers of cream filling. I added an additional (optional) layer of paleo-friendly lemon curd to add a sticky, lemon kick, but to be honest, the almond cakes are so sweet, you don’t really need it.
Be warned – this is a delicate cake to make, and probably not suitable for absolute beginners. Also, even though this is grain-free and paleo-friendly, this is a sweet sweet treat that’s probably best reserved for special occasions (or when you’re having a particularly awful day). Keep your eyes peeled for a simpler, healthier, raw version coming soon.
PALEO MANDELTARTA (SWEDISH ALMOND TART WITH LEMON)
2 x 9-inch springform pans
6 free-range egg whites
250g almond flour
250g raw coconut sugar
60g raw honey
1 tsp lemon zest
60ml lemon juice
3 free-range egg yolks
pinch sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
500ml coconut cream
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp agave
1 tbsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
60g sliced almonds
Lemon and lime zest to serve
Handful of redcurrants
Seeds of 1/2 passion fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 195ºC. Line two springform tins with parchment paper.
2. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Separate the mixture into two separate bowls.
3. Gradually add half the ground almonds and coconut sugar to each bowl of egg whites. Mix gently with a metal spoon, being careful not to knock the air out of the egg whites. Pour the batters into the lined springform pans and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the bases from the oven, and allow them to cool in their tins.
5. Make the lemon curd. Place the honey, lemon zest, juice, egg yolks and salt in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat, and whisk to combine. Stir until the mixture has thickened (around 3-4 minutes). Remove from the heat.
6. Strain the lemon curd through a sieve, and whisk in the coconut oil. Allow to cool in the fridge.
7. For the cream topping, put the coconut cream into a chilled bowl with the vanilla essence, lemon juice, lemon zest and sweetener. Use an electric whisk to beat together until stiff peaks form. Gradually stir in the coconut flour, and whisk until thick.
8. Assemble the cake. Put the first base on a plate, and spread over the lemon curd with a palette knife. Top with approximately one third of the cream mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed. Place the second base on top. Use another third of the cream mixture to spread over the top of the cake, and the final third to cover the sides of the cake.
9. Top with slice almonds, lemon zest, redcurrants and passion fruit seeds. Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
10. Eat. Weep with joy. Repeat.