I was once watching “Take home chef” – I used to love that show, now... not so much – and the girl Curtis had picked up at the grocery store had a lemon tree in her back yard. A lemon tree!! How great is that? But do you know what she did with all those lemons? She crushed them in the garbage disposal so her kitchen would smell nice. :S
I’d rather use my purchased-at-the-supermarket lemons for much better things, and this cake is one of them. Just make sure you eat the cake the day it’s made, while the lemon slices are still soft – I tried slicing the cake again a day after baking it and had to remove the lemon from its top; the cake tastes great without the candied lemon slices, too, but very similar to Nigella’s damp lemon and almond cake.
Candied lemon cake
from Donna Hay magazine
½ cup (70g) all purpose flour, sifted
240g icing sugar, sifted
120g almond meal (ground almonds)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 egg whites
180g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Candied lemon slices:
1 ½ cups + 2 ½ tablespoons (330g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (160ml) water
4 lemons, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF; butter a 25cm (10in) round cake pan*, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper.
Place the flour, icing sugar, almond meal and lemon zest in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Add the egg whites and butter and mix well until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate.
To make the candied lemon slices, place the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon slices and bring to the boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the syrup has thickened and lemon slices are translucent. Pour the syrup over the cake and top with the lemon slices. Allow to cool and serve.
* I made ¾ of the recipe and used a 20cm (8in) round cake pan; I used 2 lemons for the topping