I know the name of this cake is a bit odd – its Nigella Lawson’s cake not mine – but please try it. I am an almond fan, just as well with all the almond trees we have here, we’ve never been short of an almond or two. The combination of creamy almond and sharp lemon works well. The word ‘damp’ in the title comes from the fact that there is hardly any flour in the cake, so it is moist. In fact when I went to the cupboard there was so little flour in the flour box that I thought I would have to postpone my plans, but 50g really is just a couple of spoonfuls. 225g soft unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
50g plain flour
225g ground almonds
½ tsp almond essence [which I didn’t have, so I substituted vanilla essence]
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons Grease a 21-23cm Springform cake tin [I used an old butter paper] and line the bottom. Roll out your baking parchment, take the loose bottom of the tin and place it on the paper. Draw a ring around the tin, and cut out.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white [below]. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition [below]. When all the eggs and flour are thoroughly combined, gently stir in the ground almonds followed by the essence, zest and juice [below]. This makes a pretty sloppy mixture [below], so don’t worry! Pour the mixture into the cake tin [below], give it a tap to eliminate bubbles, and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Nigella says this timing is approximate though and warns that she has made the cakes in different ovens when it is ready anything from 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes. She advises covering the cake with foil, after 30 minutes in the oven, so the top doesn’t burn. The cake is ready when the top is firm and a skewer, inserted, comes out cleanish. You want a little dampness, but not goo.
Take the cake out of the oven and let it stand in the tin for five minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and leave until cool. Nigella says it is best stored by wrapping in foil, and leaving for a couple of days [if you can!]. Serve sprinkled with a dusting of icing sugar and some fresh berries, raspberries, strawberries or other fresh fruit.
5 to remember
una hincha de [algo] – a fan of [something]
húmedo/a – damp/moist
una frambuesa – raspberry
una fresa – a strawberry
guardar – to store something
‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson