We always have lemons in the fruit bowl and my usual repertoire is to make a lemon crunch cake which is one of our favourites, and which I tend to make if I want to bake a large, citrus cake. However, I had some ground almonds left over in the cupboard and I wanted to bake something which could combine the two. In times of inspiration seeking, I often turn to Nigella and she never disappoints. This recipe is quick and easy and the resulting cake is a golden slab of damp, dense, sharp-toned meltiness. Whilst it is delicious eaten on the day of baking, if you can leave it wrapped up in a tin for a couple of days, the sharpess and melting dampness will increase on the waiting. If you decide to have a go at baking this cake, be prepared to be transported to the Mediterranean...the fragrant aromas of lemons and almonds combined when baking are undeniably evocative of hot and sunny climes.
225g soft, unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
50g plain flour
225g ground almonds
half a tsp almond essence
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
21-23cm Springform cake tin, lined
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degs C/170 degs C fan/gas mark 4
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition.
3. When the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond essence and lemon zest and juice.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. After about 30 minutes you may want to cover loosely with foil to prevent the top of the cake from burning.
5. The cake is ready when the top is firm and a skewer, when inserted, comes out cleanish. Let it stand in the tin for 5 minutes or so, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
This recipe comes from How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson