This is THE cake for all seasons.
There is never a bad time to make this cake. Cold? Well, this cake is bright with lemon (a winter fruit, did you know?) so it will bring a little warmth into your day, but it’s also damp and buttery and perfect served warm. Hot? This cake is beautifully light and citrussy – with a little whipped cream and fresh fruit, it’s just perfect.
It’s ridiculously simple too. Just a straightforward cake batter preparation, cream the butter and sugar, whip in the eggs, and then fold through some ground almonds, lemon zest and juice. Whap it into a greased cake tin, and then a low and slow bake means that the cake stays deliciously moist.
But I haven’t called this cake ‘damp’ for nothing. I make a syrup out of some extra lemon juice and sugar and drizzle that over the still-warm cake. The syrup gives the cake a spike of acidity, which is absolutely perfect with the buttery, rich almonds.
I make this cake ALL the time. It’s a beautifully simple and a major crowd pleaser. It’s actually adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe – she is always totally reliable when it comes to cakes. I hate to see what has been happening to her in the British courts.
It seems completely unfair to me that although she is a victim of domestic violence, and the one who has been allegedly defrauded, it is her name which is being dragged through the mud. What are your thoughts? Do you love her like I do? Either way, we can all agree on this cake, right?
Damp Lemon and Almond Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess‘, Hyperion Books, 2001
Makes one 9 inch cake
2 sticks (225g) butter
1 cup (225g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
2 cups (225g) ground almonds
zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the syrup:
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
Preheat the oven to 160C/350F. Grease and line an 18cm/9 inch cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white. Continue to beat the mixture while you add the eggs, one at a time, each followed by a quarter of the flour. Once all the eggs and flour are in, gently fold through the ground almonds and lemon zest and juice. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 50 minutes. You may need to cover the tin with foil, if the cake is browning too quickly, though it is a dark cake.
When the cake springs back when lightly pressed, it is done. Cool on a rack for five minutes while you prepare the sryup by bringing the lemon juice and sugar to the boil in a small pan. Pour the hot syrup over the hot cake and then leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating warm for dessert, or letting it cool completely and slicing for afternoon tea.