As my life appears to evolve around slices of cake 🤭, it’s no surprise then that I’m going to encourage you to make this ‘Blueberry, almond and lemon cake’ recipe from the Ottolenghi Simple cookbook. Fresh blueberries (I happily pour in an extra handful of these), ground almonds and lots of fresh lemon zest and juice make a moist, tangy loaf that will keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. We can sadly only dream of any cake lasting for 3 whole days in our family. Total respect and admiration to those that can.
Ottolenghi’s deliciously moist Blueberry, Almond & Lemon CakeDifficulty: Easy
You will need: a loaf tin (11 x 21cm) and a free-standing food mixer.
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
190g caster sugar
2 lemons: finely grate the zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 2 tbsp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
90g self-raising flour, sifted
⅛ tsp salt
110g ground almonds
70g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Grease and line the loaf tin and set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and vanilla in the bowl of a free-standing food mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a high speed for 3–4 minutes, until light, then lower the speed to medium. Add the eggs, in small additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl. The mix may split a little, but don’t worry: it’ll come back together. Add the flour, salt and almonds in three additions. Finally, fold in 150g of blueberries, by hand, and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 50g of blueberries over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the cake is golden-brown but still uncooked. Cover loosely with tin foil and continue to bake for 25–30 minutes, until risen and cooked. Test by inserting a knife into the middle: it’s ready if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside, in its tin, to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl with the icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour over the cake and gently spread out: the blueberries on the top of the cake will bleed into the icing a little, but don’t worry: this will add to the look.
I’ve always had a problem with even attempting to make anything from the many Ottolenghi cookbooks. The list of ingredients is generally far too long and my personal cooking mantra is that delicious dishes can be made and easily achieved using 10 ingredients or less. There are obviously times when one enjoys the challenge of a more complicated recipe, but I save those moments for special occasions. I have recently culled almost a shelf full of cookery books simply because I never felt inspired to make a single recipe from any of them!
Then ‘Ottolenghi Simple’ came along and I couldn’t use that excuse any longer. It’s a visually very appealing recipe book… from the front cover to the layout of the recipes. It shouts “this IS simple and you can cook these gorgeous dishes too”.
Here’s the link to this wonderful cookery book if you’d like to buy a copy.