Well, I’m neither Swedish and had no plans to visit anyone last weekend when I made this cake, but I like to keep my hand in the the kitchen once in a while and I was hankering after something nice to go with morning coffee!  This recipe contains two of my all time favourite things where baking is concerned…. almonds and citrus, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a go.  I did modify it though for our taste, but I’ll give you both versions so you can decide which is best!  The original recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: From my Home To Yours.

And here’s a picture to get you drooling whilst you contemplate the list of ingredients and make a mental note about what you need to go out and buy!

 

 

The Original Recipe:

  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (8oz)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (8oz plain flour)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (4oz)
  • About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.  If you use a normal cake or pie pan, just put it on a baking sheet to conduct extra heat into the bottom of the cake.  I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I went with the normal baking pan and the baking sheet and it was fine.

Add the lemon zest to the sugar, mix in and leave for a few minutes to allow the flavours to merge.  Whisk the eggs in to the sugar mix one at a time, whisk in the salt and the extracts.  Change to a wooden spoon or a spatula and fold in the flour followed by the melted butter.  Put the batter in to the cast iron skillet or cake pan on a baking sheet, scatter over the sliced almonds and a little sugar  and bake on the centre rack for 25 – 30 minutes.

You might notice that this cake has no leavening agents whatsoever, apart from the eggs.  The cake doesn’t rise much but it’s lovely and moist and a little dense.  Whisk the eggs up really well and it will rise a bit more.

Right, this is my recipe!!

  • 1 cup sugar (8oz) – no extra sugar for sprinkling
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract (changed this from a 1/2 tsp as I love almond)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (8oz plain flour)
  • 2/3 cup spelt flour & 1/3 cup of ground almonds (about 5oz of flour to 3oz of almonds)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (4oz)
  • About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Icing sugar

 

Put the sugar and the lemon rind in a screw top glass jar the night before baking the cake to fully allow the flavours to mix.  Next day, put the sugar mix in a bowl and whisk in the two eggs as before.  Whisk in the extracts but not the salt as I used salted butter.  Fold in the flour and almonds followed by the butter.  Scatter the almonds on top but leave off the sugar and bake as before.  Cool the cake after baking, juice the lemon and add enough icing sugar to make in to a syrup, pour as much or as little as you’d like over the cake and let it soak in.  Serve fresh with a good, strong coffee.

Cake keeps well for a few days, but it was improved by zapping in the microwave for a couple of seconds to warm it up a bit and soften the butter content.  The recipe says it’s best eaten the day it’s baked, but mine lasted almost a week.

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