Lemon and almond cake

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 50 mins + cooling
  • Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • 225g (7½oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g (7½oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1½ lemons, finely zested
  • 75g (3oz) plain flour
  • 150g (5oz) ground almonds
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • For the mascarpone cream
  • 200g (7oz) light mascarpone
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • 15g (½oz) toasted flaked almonds

Each serving contains 535 calories, 31g sugar, 39g fat, 19g saturates and 0.3g salt.

Method

Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C and lightly butter 2 x 20cm (8in) sandwich tins. Line the bottom of the tins with nonstick baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar until smooth. Gradually add the egg and beat until pale and fluffy. If the mixture looks like it’s starting to split, add 1 teaspoon of flour.

Beat the almond extract and zest into the egg mixture, then sift over the dry ingredients and fold in using a large metal spoon. Spoon half the batter into each tin and smooth the tops to make them level. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden; the cake should just be coming away from the sides of the tin. Leave the sponges in their tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

While the sponges are cooling, make the mascarpone cream. Beat together the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Put one sponge on a serving plate and spread with 2 tablespoons of lemon curd. Top with half of the icing and smooth it out with a palate knife. Top with the other sponge and spread over the rest of the icing. Add a little water to the lemon curd to loosen, then drizzle it over the top of the cake and scatter with the toasted almonds.

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