Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cinnamon and Almond Cake

When thinking about food, I spend the majority of my time thinking of new recipes, looking at new cookbook releases which look so appealing or feeling guilty that I have so many books that I do not cook from. I decided it was time to start baking or cooking from books that I rarely use so I decided to choose from a random selection of books to bake a cake from. Nigellissima from Nigella Lawson cookbook falls in the latter category. I have only cooked a handful of dishes from this book, including The Italian tray bake  which is my most viewed blog post.  I probably bake cakes once a month and as I am reminiscing over my Italian city break I decided to make a cake from this book. Cinnamon and almond cake is indexed under Italian Christmas section and I am aware that we are no where near Christmas but the cake looked so delicious I thought I would attempt to make it in the sunny Midlands. Now, I've adapted the recipe to my liking, the recipe used a large amount of eggs, no less than 8, but I felt that this was too excessive and a bit of a waste, so I used 4 eggs. Also, I've never made a flourless cake before and wasn't brave enough to try this at this time, so I added 125g self-raising flour. I liked the strong almond flavour that came with every bite, I couldn't really taste the cinnamon, perhaps if I were to make this next time I would increase the amount of cinnamon next time. I also served a slice of this moreish cake with a healthy helping of rum & raisin ice cream:
Here is how my cinnamon and almond cake turned out:
Cinnamon and almond cake.

Cinnamon and almond cake.

Cinnamon and almond cake.

8 egg whites (I used 4 whole eggs) 
150g caster sugar
Few drops almond extract
Zest of 1 clementine or ½ orange
125 mls mild and light olive oil, plus more for greasing tin
150g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g flaked almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
approx 2 tsp icing sugar to decorate

I added 125g self-raising flour as I was worried about a flourless cake.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 23cm springform cake pan (or use a special baking spray) and line the base with parchment paper.
In a clean, grease-free bowl. Whisk the egg whites until they are opaque and start to hold their shape, then slowly add the sugar, whisking until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is thick and shiny.
Add the almond extract and the clementine or orange zest. Then, in about 3 goes each, alternately whisk in the oil and the ground almonds (mixed with the baking powder) until they are both smoothly incorporated into the meringue.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, then mix together the flaked almonds and cinnamon and sprinkle them over the top of the cake.
 Bake for 35-40 minutes (though start checking at 30), by which time the top should have risen and be set and the almonds become golden; and a cake tester should come out clean, barring the odd almond crumb.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool, in its tin, on a wire rack. Once it is no longer hot, spring open the sides of the tin, but don’t try to remove the cake from the base until properly cool.
When you are ready to serve, push the icing sugar through a small strainer and over the cake to create a snowy effect, and take to the table.
I am entering my cinnamon and almond cake to a couple of blogging challenges. The first challenge is hosted by Jaccqueline whose blog Tinned Tomatoes hosts a monthly challenge called Bookmarked Recipies which encourages bloggers to cook/bake recipes that have been bookmarked. I've been meaning to make this recipe for 2 years!

I'm also sharing this recipe with the monthly challenge Alpha Bakes hosted by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occassional Baker and Random Recipes is hosted by Dom from http://www.belleaukitchen.com/ as I randomly chose this book from a large selection of books that I never use!


1 comment

  1. how could I have nearly missed this gorgeous cake!... I love this cake and the book too... such a great entry for the challenge, thanks so much for taking part x


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