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Recipe for Sticky almond cake with lemon-rose syrup
THIS sticky almond cake belongs to the Sephardic tradition of cakes made with neither wheat flour nor butter, meaning it is both gluten and dairyfree.
As well as being handy for those with dietary requirements, using ground almonds instead of flour makes the cake satisfyingly dense and moist.
Sticky almond cake with lemon-rose syrup
For the cake
5 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
Large handful of toasted flaked almonds
For the syrup
100g caster sugar
200ml recently-boiled water
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried rose petals
1tbsp rose water
Preheat the oven to 180C.
To make the syrup:
Put the sugar and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the syrup coats the back of a spoon.
Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly. Stir in half the lemon zest, and all the dried rose petals and rose water.
Let it cool then taste and adjust if necessary. It should be sweet and citrusy with a lovely floral perfume.
To make the cake:
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the ground almonds and combine well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy then gently fold them into the almond mixture.
Line and grease a 20cm by 10cm cake tin and pour in the cake mixture.
Scatter over half the flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 35-45mins, or until firm to the touch and golden on top. Cover loosely with a foil if it’s looking too brown.
When ready, remove the cake from the oven and check that a skewer comes out clean-ish. Poke holes in the top but leave it in the tin.
Now re-heat the syrup and stir in the remaining lemon zest. Evenly pour half the syrup over the hot cake. Decant the rest into a small jug for people to help themselves to more if desired When it has completely cooled, take the cake out of the tin and scatter over the leftover toasted almonds. Serve with the lemon-rose drizzle and chosen creamy substance on the side.
I also like this cake cut it into small squares like petit fours, to be served with coffee and medjool dates