Easy Almond Cake

I first whipped up this cakefrom Nigella’s H.T.B.AD.G.  for my mum’s birthday last week and then made it again for the Royal Wedding.  It does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s easy, almondy and, um, cake!  The best bit about it is that you make it in a food processor, normally I have a preference for mixing by hand… I have no idea why but that is what I tend to do.  This cake really rather needs the food processor to break down the marzipan. 

The end result is deliciously moist and almondy.  For mum’s birthday I iced it with a lemon and marscapone icing but I sort of invented that on the spot and don’t quite remember how I did it. (A tub of marscapone, some cream, lemon zest and juice and beat, beat, beat sums it up.) Then pressed flaked almonds onto the top, grated some lemon zest in the centre and a few flowers. 

For the Royal Wedding party I split the cake (which was very easy, I’ve had problems splitting cakes before) and filled it with lemon curd then wrapped it in marzipan.  Then I had my first experiment with fondant icing. I made up the fondant icing sugar with lemon juice and then worked to pour/smooth/drizzle/encourage the icing to cover the cake.  It’s not the best job I’ve ever done but considering the difficulty rating I was quite happy with the end result… the coloured drizzle on top took it back a few notches but I was sort of aiming for informal and kitchy… just not quite as informal, ha ha!

Serves 12

250g unsalted butter
250g marzipan
150g golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp Amaretto (or almond essence)
6 large eggs
150g self raising flour

– Heat the oven to Gas Mark 3/170C  and grease a 23cm springform cake tin.  Line the top with baking paper. 
– Put the butter, marzipan and sugar in the food processor and blend until smooth. 
– Add the vanilla and Amaretto and process again
– With the motor running break each egg in down the funnel and blend until all smooth. 
– Add the flour, blend until combined. 
– Pour and scrape the batter out into the cake tin. 
– Bake for 50 minutes, checking from 40.  The cake should be set with no wobble in the centre.  A skewer inserted should come out clean. 
– Leave to cool completely in the tin then remove and decorate as you will.


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