Tarta de Sta. Teresa
(from ‘The Alba Cookbook’)

Alba Restaurante Español's signature cake, Tarta de Sta. Teresa

Alba Restaurante Español’s signature cake, Tarta de Sta. Teresa

ALBA Restaurante Español makes great paellas and other Spanish dishes. That’s a given. But a lot of regular habitués also know that Alba serves very special desserts, as well, and one of its best-known desserts is an indulgent cake called Tarta de Sta. Teresa. It’s a sponge cake with cream filling, surrounded by almond slices and topped with yema balls.

IMG_5864A cake created by Alba’s founder, Señor Anastacio de Alba as a tribute to his patron saint, St. Therese of Avila, Tarta de Sta. Teresa is a signature cake and a staple in every Alba gathering. Just recently, it was served once again during the launching rites of The Alba Cookbook: Best-Loved Spanish Recipes & Practical Tips on Cooking and the Good Life, which was made to coincide with the formal opening of Alba’s new branch at the Prism Plaza, Two ECom Center, at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. Tarta de Sta. Teresa also happens to be one of the featured recipes in the cookbook that was launched, so guests during the book launch got to appreciate it even more when they found it on the buffet table.

I’d like to share the recipe with you here in my weblog. For more Spanish recipes from Alba Restaurante Español, you should go and get a copy of The Alba Cookbook from your favorite bookstore. It’s published by Anvil Publishing Inc. and sells for Php595 per copy.

THE SPONGE CAKE:
8 whole eggs
200 grams sugar
boiled water
200 grams cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
100 grams butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, beat together eggs and sugar for 5 minutes over a saucepan or casserole of boiling water, then for another 5 minutes on top of the counter.
3. Sift together cake flour and baking soda.
4. Add flour mixture and the butter to the egg-and-sugar mixture a third at a time.
5. Add vanilla extract and salt.
6. Fold mixture together and pour into a round pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Allow cake to cool, then remove from pan and slice horizontally into 2.

THE YEMA FILLING CREAM:
220 grams sugar
16 tbsps. water
16 egg yolks
2 tbsps. lemon extract

1. Dissolve sugar in water and boil until mixture becomes syrupy, This is just simple syrup until sugar is dissolved. Remove from fire.
2. Mix egg yolks into the syrup.
3. Add lemon extract.
4. Heat mixture over double boiler (*the mixture is in a saucepan, and the saucepan is over another saucepan filled with boiling water) until it becomes creamy. Let cool.

THE YEMA BALLS:
220 grams sugar
16 tbsps. water
16 egg yolks
2 tbsps. lemon extract
extra sugar

1. Dissolve sugar in water and boil until sugar forms into clear syrup.
2. Remove from fire.
3. Mix in egg yolks.
4. Add lemon extract.
5. Heat mixture over double boiler until it becomes thick. Let cool, then scoop with a spoon and form into balls.
6. Roll in extra sugar.

THE SYRUP:
200 grams sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup anise liquor

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

TO ASSEMBLE:
almond slices or slivers

1. Put half of the sponge cake on a tray. Coat with syrup, then spread half of the yema filling cream on top.
2. Cover with other half of the sponge cake.
3. Coat with syrup. Spread remaining yema filling cream on top, then sprinkle with almond slices or slivers on top of the cake and on the sides.
4. Decorate with yema balls on top.
5. Slice and serve.

Serves 8.

Category(s): Cakes/Pastries, Recipes
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