My mother’s mazarin cake


My mother associates this cake with Christmas because her grandmother used to bake it for the holidays. And the red colour helps with that association too, I’m sure. In general, though, this type of cake has nothing to do with Christmas. It is a cake we eat all year round and it got its name from Cardinal Mazarin.

Consisting of a shortcrust with an almond filling this cake is chewy and not too sweet. It also has the unusual addition of desiccated coconut, and although I’m not a fan in general, it really works here.

Mazarin cake, serves 8-10

Short crust:

75 g butter

35 g caster sugar

1 egg white

100 g plain flour

 1 1/2 tsp baking powder


100 g almonds

50 g desiccated coconut

100 g butter

150 g caster sugar

3 eggs

red food colouring

Cream butter and sugar for the shortcrust. Add the egg white, flour and baking powder. Incorporate and cover a baking tin with the dough. 

Blanch the almonds and grind them finely. Add coconut, butter and sugar. Add the eggs and colouring. Pour into the tin and bake in 175C about 20-30 minutes. Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar. 

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