Sunday, 19 April 2009

let us eat cake

Mum asked me to make this cake for Nana's birthday. It's the perfect cake for those who aren't that interested in the classic chocolate cake but still like something quite decadent. It's personally a favourite of mine because it combines two of my favourite ingredients - lemon and almond. Winning ingredients in savoury or sweet if you ask me.

It's probably more of a loaf than a cake, it's very dense and moist and rich, unsurprising as it has 4 eggs and a stick of butter in it! So, not for everyday, but we only have a birthday once a year, right?

Anyway - here's the recipe. It's a Nigella Lawson number from her How to be a Domestic Goddess recipe book, so I've made it super fast using the food processor. She wouldn't have it any other way.

Damp Lemon and Almond Cake

The cast:

225g unsalted butter
225g castor sugar
4 eggs
50g plain flour
225g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon of almond essence
grated zest and juice of two lemons

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. My oven is a little on the hot side though so 160 works better for me.

Step 2: Get your zest and juice ready. I love lemons...

Step 3: Cream the butter and sugar until almost white. You can of course use your muscles for this task, but in the spirit of Nigella I opted for the processor.

Step 4: Add in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the plain flour in between each egg.

Step 5: Gently stir in the ground almonds, the almond essence and lemon zest and juice.

Step 6: Pour into a cake tin. I love the new silicon cake moulds as you don't have to grease them and they clean easy and storing them is as easy as shoving them into the corner of your overcrowded drawer. Not that I have messy cupboards or anything...

It's not going to rise much as there is no rising agent in this cake, so fill it to the brim. (Or close to the brim, then use a spatula to get every last drop out of the bowl and into your mouth. Lick it clean if need be. You never know how the end product is going to turn out so it's important that you get something for your efforts.)

Step 6: Bake for about an hour, depending on how your oven goes. You'll know it's done if it's firm on top and a skewer comes out cleanish. I have to cover the tin with foil after half an hour or so otherwise the top burns too much.

Step 7: Allow to cool for 5 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack and rest til cool.

Now, I forgot to take a picture at this stage, probably because I managed to burn the sides a little and it cracked down the top too and was drowing my sorrows with a glass of wine.

But that's nothing a little sprinkle of icing sugar and some decoy decorating won't fix.

Bon Appetit and Bonne Anniversaire Nana!

1 comment:

maeve said...

yum! i do an orange and almond but this looks great. shall have to try.

meanwhile, you reminded me of the email you once sent me about nigella when we were getting to know each other online by talking about what food we liked. it made me laugh to remember how much i laughed back then. i won't repeat what you said in case some people reading this harbor the illusion that you are a lady... xxx

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