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).