Sunday 27 January 2008
Recipe: Flourless Limoncello Cake
Wonderfully moist, this is as unlike the fluffy, sweet Lemon Cakes of childhood as you're likely to find. The use of complete Lemons in the mixture - peel, pith and all - produces a strongly flavoured cake that practically bites back at you (in the nicest possible way)!
Made using Ground Almonds rather than Flour, and the option of replacing half of the normal amount of Sugar with Splenda instead makes this dietarily sound, as well as being delicious. I've experimented with using Lemons which have been boiled, as in this recipe, and also just processing them without treating them in any way first, on the basis that the boiling process looked back to a period before food processors and was merely a means of rendering the tough skins soft and malleable. In fact, if short of time, you can omit the boiling and simmering stage, but it will give you a slightly more bitter result, as the effect of this step appears to be to take the edge off the bitterness in the pith of the fruit.
An alternative name for the cake would be 'Vanishing Cake', since - as you can see from the picture - if you turn your back on it, half of the cake has disappeared before you know it.....
For one 26 cm diameter cake.
Ingredients: 2 Lemons (Meyer or Amalfi Lemons by preference, but ordinary Lemons from the supermarket will also work perfectly well); 6 Eggs; 250g Ground Almonds; 2-3 drops Almond Essence; 2 tablespoons of Limoncello; 1 teaspoon Baking Powder; 250g Sugar (or 125g Sugar, plus equivalent volume of Splenda); a handful of Slivered Almonds.
1. Put the Lemons in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil on the stove, and then simmer, partially covered for an hour. Leave to cool.
2. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
3. Drain the Lemons, break them open with your hands and pick out and discard any pips. (Either throw away the boiling liquid, or retain to use subsequently as the cooking liquid for any green vegetable).
4. Process the Lemons for a minute in a food processor along with all the other ingredients apart from the Slivered Almonds. Pour this mixture into a spring-form tin, which has either been greased or sprayed with Trennwax.. Make sure the surface of the cake is level, then sprinkle generously with the Slivered Almonds.
5. Bake for an hour in the pre-heated oven. Test for done-ness by pressing lightly on the centre of the top of the cake - if it springs back into place the cake is done; if not, it probably needs slightly longer. NB: I generally find it necessary to cover the top of the cake with foil after it has been in the oven for half an hour, in order to prevent the Almonds from catching, and the top of the cake from colouring too much.