this was.. an experiment to see if I could get my butter-cake-loving parents to accept a new texture, different flavours – and I’m not sure I succeeded – but whether that’s because of this recipe or their deeply-entrenched reticence for change is another matter.
I don’t have much to say about this cake except that the recipe turned out pleasantly with a – to my mind – very italian rustic-style cake, dense and fragrant with almonds and zest with a pock-marked surface and a satisfyingly neat cut. it was a tad sweet for me though, so I’d dial down the sugar just a little the next time I make this. recipe follows, and I hope you try it if you’re hankering after something homey and filling for tea – this fits the bill very well.
2 eggs, separated (separate them when cold, then allow to go to room temperature)
scant pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon + 1/2 orange
1 tsp orange juice
1/3 tsp vanilla
75g almond meal (ground almonds)
- preheat the oven to 180C. butter and flour a 6-inch round cake tin.
- beat the yolks with the sugar until it becomes a smooth, pale cream. beat in the zests, juice and vanilla together. beat in the almond meal.
- beat the whites with salt until stiff peaks form, and then fold into the batter – I like to first use about 1-2 tbsp of the whites and whisk vigorously into the batter to loosen it up, before folding in the remaining whites in 2-3 batches gently.
- bake the cake for 40 minutes until it is golden on top and a cake tester comes out moist but without crumbs. let cool completely in the tin, before sliding a thin serrated knife around the edge and loosening it off – it will be moist so take care not to break it.