Cinnamon Almond cake (#25)

So this one went down a treat. The office deemed this potentially my best cake yet, which I consider not just a compliment to me but my absolute favourite TV chef Nigella.

Nigellissima gave me this one. The Italian origin of it is lost on me – who doesn’t love nuts and cinnamon? (Well, my mother is iffy on cinnamon, but otherwise my rhetorical question still stands).

Yes, the key feature for me is ease of use. And like so many Nigella bakes they basically combine in the correct order in one mixing bowl, are decorated in a surprisingly easy way, before simply being bunged in the oven.

The end result is a wonderful cake that is moist and refreshing. Very much an any time of day cake!

Good things: Doesn’t feel unhealthy and is a delight to eat.

Bad things: I don’t think you could incorporate chocolate into this one… but does it need it?

Ingredients & requirements: For this recipe you’ll need a 22/23cm springform cake tin,

  • 8 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of disaronno / amaretto
  • 1 large orange / clementine (zest of)
  • 125 light olive oil
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 100g flaked almond
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • icing sugar

Preparation & cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Line the baking tin with baking parchment, and grease the parchment and sides of the tin (I use butter on the edge of a kitchen towel, but guess you can use oil or baking spray).
  3. Some prep: Put the 150g of ground almonds and 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a small bowel and mix, reserve. The put the 125ml of oil in a pyrex  jug. Saves time later on.
  4. In a mixing bowl…
    1. Put the 8 egg whites in into the bowel, and whisk until they are no longer transparent and hold their shape.
    2. Slowly add the 150g of caster sugar while whisking it in until thick & shiny (according to Nigella)
    3. Add the 1 tablespoon of disaronno and grate in the zest of 1 large orange.
    4. Now whisk in 1/3 of the oil, then whisk in a 1/3 of the ground almonds & baking powder mix. Repeat until all is whisked in and well incorporated.
  5. Pour into the tin.
  6. Mix together the 100g of flaked almonds and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a separate bowl and then slowly sprinkle them over the mixture to evenly cover the top.
  7. Bake for around 35 minds, maybe 40. But as long as it’s risen and starting to brown your good.
  8. Put on a wire rack. Once it’s cooled a bit, you can remove the sides of tin (maybe give it once over with a knife just in case). Don’t remove from the base until it’s completely cooled down. Sieve over a couple of teaspoons of icing sugar when you’re ready to serve.

Reflections

Like I say, this one went down a complete and utter treat. Personally, I wished I’d put some more booze in, but most people are perfectly aware of my preferences in that department.

A Nigella bake has never let me down. I’ve made the chocolate lime cake a few times and the pear muffins a couple of times and without fail they are a dream. The Nutella cheesecake was good but everyone thought a single mouthful would bring them a day closer to death.

This one would be great for afternoon tea. The photo does not include the icing sugar that I put on just before serving to others. The slice I cut out was a cheeky taste tester for myself before anyone else had a chance to tuck in.

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