Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nigella's Damp Lemon-Almond Cake

Sometimes a recipe does not always turn out the first time you make it but you had such high hopes that you must try it again.  I made this for dessert for my husband's birthday LAST YEAR.  However, the copy of the recipe I had said.... 1 1/3 cup ground almonds, so I threw some almonds into a food processor and went to town.  What we ended up with was a) gritty from the almonds, and b) dry as all get out because we have the demon oven!  Seriously hate that thing, probably part of why I do not bake often.  I really want to try to make macaroons but I know it is truly hopeless in that miracle midget that we were told is an oven.

I was disappointed enough that it took me over a year to try it again, but it kept coming to mind.  I thought maybe if I swapped out almond flour for the ground almonds it might work.  I ordered the almond flour (I'm not kidding when I say you can't find anything in this town), and then had to google the recipe because I lost my copy.  The copy I found this time said 1 1/3 cup ground almonds or almond flour, yeah thanks for that.

I don't have any prep pictures because I didn't know if would come out and when it was done and I popped the springform pan it was so horribly flat I thought it would probably be dried out again.  Well it wasn't because I now know not to trust the oven.  And with the quick flick of my wrist and a measuring tape I realize that it was flat because my springform pan is 10-inches not 8.  Oops... I think this has been a dessert downfall more than once...must remedy that problem, but if you can see how moist this is from the picture I'm sure you'll understand that no one complained about it being a little flat, they just cut a second slice.

Nigella’s Damp Lemon and Almond Cake
adapted from Nigella Lawson


1 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup cake and pastry flour
1 1/3 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
Zest and juice of two lemons


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom of one 8” (or four 4”) springform pans with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick baking spray

Cream together the butter and the sugar until almost white. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond extract, lemon zest and juice. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes-you may have to cover the cake loosely with foil after 30 minutes so the tops won’t burn (4” springform pans 35 minutes)

The cake is ready when the top is firma dn skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Don’t overbake thecake or it won’t be damp.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes in the pan; then turn out onto a wire rack and leave till cool.

Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

PS... I masked the disaster last year by throwing fresh strawberries, raspberries, and black berries into a sauce pan with some amaretto, balsamic vinegar, a splash of orange juice, and a tablespoon of sugar and just stirred it until it turned into a sauce.  Then loaded it over pieces of the cake and topped with fresh berries.... while there was no need to do that this time I think I may have to try that again next time because it was really, really great!

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