Prep time: 15 mins | Bake time: 50-55 mins | Yield: one 9×5 inch loaf
- 175 grams plain flour (maida) * see notes
- 50 grams ground almonds (almond powder) * see notes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 225 grams (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 225 grams (8 oz) caster sugar
- zest (grated rind) of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon of each)
- 4 eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons milk (optional, as required)
1. Preheat oven to 170 C / 325 F and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl. Stir in the ground almonds
3. In another bowl, using an electric whisk, beat the butter and add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon rind and vanilla (or almond extract)
4. Add the eggs one at a time beating for 1 minute after each addition.
5. Add in the flour mixture in 3 parts and fold gently to incorporate. If you feel that the batter is too stiff just add a tablespoon of milk at a time. The batter should be of dropping consistency.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smoothen the surface. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. The top of the cake would be light and springy to the touch.
7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting the loaf onto a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting.
8. The cake remains moist when stored in a cool place for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!)
1. If you want to skip the almond flour then just use 225 grams of plain flour (total). The addition of almond gives the cake a great flavour, texture and also helps keep it moist for longer so I strongly recommend you to use it.
2. To make your own ground almonds just use skinless almonds and pulse them a couple of times in the mixie till you get a fine powder. Make sure not to ‘grind’ them as they will release oil and turn into a paste. You need to use the ‘pulse’ mode of your mixer grinder and just press that butter in 1 second intervals until the almonds are powdered.
3. To blanch (peel off the skin) the almonds just place them in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over them and cover the bowl for 10 mins after which the peels will come off easily.
4. This is technically a pound cake recipe if you skip the almonds. Pound cakes are easy to identify as you need equal amounts of flour, sugar, butter & eggs for it which is true in this case. The only additions here are the almond flour and the lemon rind which give a beautiful texture, aroma and flavour to the cake.
5. You can use this cake to make the base of trifle puddings however since trifles usually call for cakes that are not very moist (because you want a cake that holds the several layers of pudding and jelly and not turn into a squishy mess when served) you can bake this cake for slightly longer (an extra 5-10 mins) to give the dry texture.
Recipe credit: The Complete Creative Cookbook