Saturday 21 July 2012

Whole Lemon, Almond & Rosemary Cake & Some Exciting News!

Before I get to the cake, I have some exciting news. I’ve been offered a job in Sheffield and I am moving there tomorrow! I only found out on Monday so it’s been a very quick and hectic turnaround trying to get everything sorted, but I’m very excited. However, I am going to be without internet for several weeks until they can send an electrician round to connect me with a phone line, so I will be MIA from the blog for a while. See you in a few weeks! Now for some cake to celebrate!

One of my favourite go-to cake recipes for an afternoon treat is this Orange Chocolate & Almond Cake. It’s a bit of a talking point as it’s made with a whole pureed orange, skin, pith, pulp and all. This gives it an intense orange flavour and helps keep the cake moist. It’s also made with ground almonds instead of flour and contains no butter or dairy and so the end result is both gluten and dairy free, although you wouldn’t know it.

Recently I began to wonder if I couldn’t make the same recipe, using another type of fruit instead. Apple and almond is a classic combination but apples are nothing like the texture of an orange and I wasn’t sure it would work. Instead I decided to stick with citrus and try a lemon version instead.
Not wanting to play things too safe I also added some rosemary extract that I’d recently discovered in a deli/farm shop. I’ve now idea what the extract is intended to be used for – possibly marinating meat? – but I couldn’t resist the change to try it out in the cake recipe. Lemon and rosemary always taste delicious when paired together with potatoes, so why not in cake!? You could also use some very finely chopped fresh rosemary if you don’t have extract.

I was a little nervous/excited to see how the cake would turn out and I’m relieved to say it was delicious! The cake was quite closely textured, but not heavy or dense, as you can see from the scattering of tiny air pockets. It was soft and tender and so delicious I had to go back for a second slice. The lemon wasn’t bitter or overpowering, and if fact could possibly even have done with a bit more lemon! I loved how each slice was speckled with little shreds of lemon, so pretty.

The rosemary flavour was only faintly there. It sort of lingered in the background, letting the lemon be the star of the show before starting to creep through as you finished a slice. I might try adding a little more next time to make the flavour more pronounced.

I finished the cake with a simple lemon glaze which added a lovely lemon zing to each bite. All in all a success and I’m now plotting my next non citrus whole fruit creation. I know this concept sounds a bit strange, but do give either the orange or this lemon version a go, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Whole Lemon, Almond & Rosemary Cake
1 large lemon, approx 140g weight
125g caster sugar
30ml extra lemon juice
3 eggs
75g ground almonds
50g brown rice flour
½ tsp gluten free baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 – 1½ tsp rosemary extract or 1 tsp very finely chopped rosemary

Lemon Glaze
3tbsp icing sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Grease a 6 inch spring form tin with oil and line the base with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Wash the lemon and place in a microwavable bowl, fill with water until the lemon is mostly covered. Loosely cover the top of the bowl with clingfilm and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Use oven gloves to remove the bowl from the microwave and drain off the water. Cut the lemon in half, remove any pips and chop roughly.
Place the entire lemon (peel and all), in a food processor along with the sugar and extra lemon juice. Whizz to a pulp, scraping down the sides once or twice, although a few larger shreds of lemon are fine.
With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, and whizz until pale and foamy.
Add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, rosemary, almonds and brown rice flour. Whiz together until a smooth batter is formed. There will still be a few shreds of lemon visible in the batter, which is fine.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes. It should be slightly risen and springy to the touch.
Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the tin, before releasing from the tin and leaving to cool completely.
Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together to create a thin spreadable glaze (add a tiny amount of water if needed). Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Makes 1 x 6 inch cake


June said...

I've only just found your wonderful blog, and I'm loving it, only to discover that you're leaving us for a little while. Congratuations on your new job - in Sheffield (Sean Bean country, lol). WHile waiting for you to return, I'll be enjoying all your other posts that I've missed out on all this time - including this gorgeous cake recipe that I cannot wait to try out. It looks absolutely delicious.
Congratulations and well done, once again!

Paloma said...

Congratulations on your new job! HOW EXCITING! Very happy for you! I wish you all the success in the world! :) Enjoy the moving... I know most people don't like it but it can be an adventure too! Try to see the positive ;) That cake looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Suelle said...

Congratulations on the new job!

When you're organised enough to start cooking again you might be interested in this recipe, which is a silmilar ckae made with dried apricots instead of an orange.

It's an Annie Bell recipe, and she says other dried fruit works just as well.

Johanna GGG said...

congratulations on your new job - hope it goes well - and hope you get back online soon and still have time for this blog

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Congratulations! so happy you found a job, is it in the kind of field you wanted? and you'll have a whole new part of the country to explore too - fun! This cake looks very refreshing!

The Caked Crusader said...

What a beautiful cake.

Many congratulations on your new job - I wish you every success in your new life!

Unknown said...

This is such a beautiful cake! I wish I could taste it :P

I've never seen, let alone HEARD, of rosemarry extract. It sounds so exotic, haha! Good luck with your move!

Choclette said...

Gosh, it looks hugely well risen and light. I've never tried a whole orange or lemon cake and have been meaning to do so for ages as I like the idea and it sounds delicious.

Many congratulations on the job. I hope the move goes well and you enjoy both the job and living up in Sheffield.

Caroline said...

Huge congratulations on the job - you must be so excited! I hope you're settling in and will be able to see your messages even if you can't blog for a while!

I love the look of this cake - it's beautifully well risen and light looking. I'd love to have a go at one of those type of 'boil a citrus fruit' type cakes but they always seem to be paired with almonds...

Elle said...

Congratulations on the new job! Will be looking forward to hearing about it (perhaps, if you feel like it) in future posts, plus new recipes. This one sounds amazing! I love lemon and rosemary together...will probably try the orange-chocolate one, too.

Nicola Watson said...

I love your blog! You have inspired me to create my very own! Your recipes and outstanding and I wish you all the best with your new job.
Please can you visit my blog and tell others! I really would love to be as successful as you on day!

Nic said...

Many congrats on the job and good luck with your move, how exciting!

The cake looks fabulous, I would love to try it just to taste the rosemary in it.

Yvonne Randall said...

That does look like a cake with clean flavours. Nice to see something so inviting.