Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Golden Lemon Almond Cake



Clearly, this is not the German Chocolate Cake that I thought I was going to make.  And clearly I didn't beat Raymond into pole position for this weeks post.  Who am I kidding, I am more than likely to be last.

Given there is no bread in the house (and therefore no breakfast), the little assistant is still in the land of nod and my nanny is still thirty minutes away from arriving, I will do my best to churn out a post this early morning.  Yes, I got the job.  My second interview consisted of me accepting the position and then I was promptly given my security details, a huge pile of reading and an office in which to perch.  It was quite unexpected really - as in, I expected to start later, instead of "right then", but kind of fun to be back in the workplace.  Imagine my relieved surprise when I reached into the depths of my brain, pressed the "On" button and it actually worked.  I think my husband was also surprised because I have been pretty much unable to complete a full sentence for the past 19 months.


Look at me now.  Full sentences.  Spreadsheets start today when my laptop will hopefully arrive.  Bizarre to go from slippers/hiking boots and jeans to high heels, suits and makeup (though not nearly as glamorous as Vicki intimated in last weeks comments!).  My feet are definitely suffering.

This weeks free choice cake.  I must say it is quite exciting watching Marie's blog roll to see what people have made.  I have to admit to just reading the post headings at this stage and not the actual posts... later this week, I promise!

I was all set to make the German Chocolate cake, well, mentally at least.  And then Hanaa commented that she was thinking about making the Golden Lemon Almond Cake and my fickle mind was changed quickly.  It helped that the only exotic ingredient was a lemon, and just a syrup to prepare for a single bundt layer.  Simplicity itself.

Ha!   So here it is the evening of this very morning where I thought I would get this post finished.  I swear tonight is the night!

I won't bore you my tedious description of the method.  Just know that I logged my second successful two-step method, so I am pretty happy.  Actually, I will bore you a little, if only as a reminder to myself.  Toast nuts, mix dry ingredients, add most of the wet ingredients, add egg in two lots, bake, syrup, depan, done.  Now, for some details...

The toasting and grinding of the almonds that Rose now recommends?  Yep, I am over it.  I suck at toasting nuts - primarily because my timer is rubbish and blanks out completely halfway through countdown, somewhat like myself, now that I think about it.  V. annoying.  I just salvaged the less brown almonds and started the toasting again.  
 
 

This is a very lemony cake.  A hefty portion of this Pure Lemon Oil.  Which I am hoping doesn't go off - I bought it in NZ in November last year and discovered once I returned to the UK that it's best before date was May 2009.  Obviously not a big mover on the Dunedin shelves. 



And a lot of zest... two tablespoons or 12 grams to be exact.  My scales are weird and do not know how to measure the zest as it snows into the bowl.  I probably should grate elsewhere and weigh the finished amount into the mixing bowl.  But I don't have a dishwasher and that outweighs my desire to be super accurate with the lemon zest.


Anyways, you can see that I estimated the 12 grams of zest to be four big lemons and this made the bowl very yellow...

 

Another slight adjustment I made, was to mix 50:50 golden caster sugar with demerara sugar to come to an approximation of turbinado sugar.  I am not quite convinced about using such a chunky sugar in a relatively fine crumbed cake...

 

 Be sure to grease your bundt pan very very very well, otherwise you will be swearing when you extricate cake from pan.  Trust me.  I know.  But given that you do this maneuver whilst the cake is still warm, there is a small window of opportunity for you to bodge the cake back together with the super glue that is the lemon syrup. 


Looking at the cake now, you would barely know that it is a carefully reassembled jigsaw puzzle.  Let me tell you, I think I got more satisfaction out of piecing the cake back together than I would have assuming it came out perfectly.  I think I may be a "rescuer".



We cut this cake about four hours after I completed it and you could definitely taste where the syrup was and wasn't.  Now two days later, it is perfectly distributed in the cake and rather nice.  I much prefer the texture, flavour and colour (not to mention lack of faff factor) of commercially ground almonds to the home corrupted version.  I will surely be shot by someone for that admission.  The colour is sort of not golden and more kind of brown flecked.  It would be more golden with almond meal instead of the brown almond pebbles I used.


I think I will definitely make this cake again, although it does make me want to buy a lot of gorgeous Nordicware.  Ahh, the benefits of generating an income of one's own!  After new scales, a beater blade I will pencil in nordicware bundt pan(s).

12 comments:

  1. Howling stateside here! Congrat's on your new position, but really, spread sheets? You could easily be Ariel Levy's replacement in the Sunday London Times. Here I've been looking forward all week to your step by step tutorial in making German Chocolate Cake, hoping to vicariously consume less calories. Can your spread sheets calculate how many calories we need to burn off each week with mindless exercise? And now I obviously must search out lemon oil because your jig saw cake sounds truly wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're a darn good rescuer! Nice looking cake. I have beater blade on my wish list too and a second bowl for my Kitchen Aide. (Patricia gave me that idea.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicola.. I wait for your post as much as I do Marie's... You are so funny girl.

    First - CONGRATS on joining the working world again... I give you 7 days for you to start wishing you be back home with nothing to do except to take care of the baby and the husband. Trust me spreadsheets can be lonely and unforgiven.

    And you need to make the german cake, because like Vicki said I was waiting for your step by step as well.

    And like you I have a bunch of stuff I want to buy as well to upgrade all the crappy equipment that I now seem to own.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations on your new job! Your cake looks so delicious. Awesome rescue job :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great job rescuing the cake. I can't tell from looking at it that it was "messed up" before. Congrats on getting the job and welcome to the spreadsheets world. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one :). Baking is definitely a good escape staring at spreadsheets.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations on the new position! And then on turning around and baking the Golden Lemon Almond Cake. Thanks for the hint on lemon syrup as glue--I have a feeling I'll need that when I get around to that cake.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay! Congrats on your new job! :) Cake looks good! I should try this soon since i'm one of those who likes plain cakes! :) Are you able to keep a pair of slippers in the office? I usually keep a pair of slippers here in the office, so when i arrive office, i will change to slippers and work in comfort..and if i have to go for meetings, or see my boss, i switch back to my working shoes (they are not very comfy imo! i'm a slippers girl..LOL!).

    I definitely prefer baking more than spreadsheets! :) I hate keying-in figures.. but the good thing is excel does all the calculations after you set in the formula once. I can't imagine how before excel, those people do their accounts? Type in BS & PL manual...?! :S yikes! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations on your new job!! That's great news!
    Funny how we both didn't make the cake we intended to make. Would have been even more fun if I ended up making YOUR German Choc Cake, ha ha. Instead, I made the Choc Streusel Coffee Cake which was delicious.
    Your cake looks great. Love the golden color and the texture.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for all your lovely comments.

    Vicki :: definitely get the oil -it is truly great and gives a true citrus bang. Glad to entertain you. So far the Sunday Times haven't called, so you will just have to stick to reading my blog!

    Lois :: Yes, must add second bowl for the Kenwood. Thanks for reminding me!

    Monica :: Try 3 days! I am enjoying it, just missing my little boy.

    Rozanne :: Thanks! Quite proud of my patching. If I wasn't photographing it, I would have just left it...

    Jenn :: I love me some spreadsheets, and boy oh boy, have I had a good few days getting into other people's nitty gritty.

    Nancy B :: You live in the land of Pam, so you should be fine!

    Faithy :: I would love to take the slipper route, so far just flats. I see so many people getting around in their Ugg boots and then slipping into heels as they get into the office! Yep, not so keen on keying - I love the formulae. Those old folk had it very tough!

    Hanaa :: I will get to that German Choc Cake. The GLAC was really quite good. Do try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ב''ה

    Golden Lemon Almond cake. Mmmm.

    Enjoy your new job! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think I will call this cake Glac from now on. Great rescue! Congrats on your new job. I still have no idea how to use Excel. Maybe you could throw in a little Excel tutorial during your German's Choc Cake post?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great cake rescue! Ganache also makes a great cake glue, as I found out last week with my mini-valentines.

    Congratulations on the job!

    By the way, I have successfully toasted almond meal in a skillet on top of the stove. The need to stand over it and stir helps keep me from forgetting -- which I so often do with nuts in the oven!

    ReplyDelete