Now there’s no doubt that Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess is full of good stuff. Somehow I find that her recipes here are more refined than those in her other books. To be honest I cannot pin point exactly why; to me they just are. Just try the next recipe, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s one of my favourites: Damp Lemon and Almond Cake. It’s not a flourless cake; you still need some plain flour for this, but if you like almonds like me, you will be completely smitten by this beauty.
If you want to learn from my mistake, I’ll tell you that it is essential that you use baking paper for greasing your cake tin. I didn’t and you can see that mine got a little burnt at the edges. (You will need a 21-23 cm springform tin.) What I can assure you though is this: it was delicious, especially with real vanilla ice-cream! You could serve it alone of course, or with some sort of lemon ice-cream or sorbet, but for me that would be a tad too much. You still don’t know which cake I like best…Let’s start:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 50g plain flour, or rice flour for a GF version
- 225g ground almonds
- ½ teaspoon almond essence
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Cream the butter and sugar together well. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each egg.
When these have been well combined, gently add the ground almonds, almond essence, lemon zest and juice.
Pour into a very well greased and lined round cake tin and bake for around 1 hour. Mine was done after 55 minutes so every so often please take a look at your cake without opening the oven too much. After 30 minutes cover it with a piece of foil to stop the surface from burning.
After the cake is done remove from the oven and let it cool for around 10 minutes in its tin. Then turn it out slowly onto a rack.