So, I finally get the chance to bake out of the new Ottolenghi book, Sweet. I have had the book for quite a while, but these days I really need an excuse to make something high in calories, even it if it is delicious. When I found out it was the birthday of a colleague, that could only mean one thing: I would have to bake a cake, diet or not!
This cake is exceptional. The ground almonds make the texture very moreish and decadent; the blueberries burst with juiciness and the coconut and lemon zest add a complexity to the flavour.
180g ground almonds
60g desiccated coconut
250g caster sugar
70g self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs
200g unsalted butter, melted, then set aside to come to room temperature
1½ tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
200g fresh blueberries
20g flaked almonds
- Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
- Place the almonds, coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to aerate and remove the lumps.
- Place the eggs in a separate medium bowl and whisk lightly. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk again until well combined. Pour this into the dry mix and whisk to combine.
- Fold in 150g blueberries, then pour the mixture into the tin. Sprinkle the last of the blueberries on top, along with the flaked almonds and bake for 50–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Keep a close eye on it towards the end of cooking: the relatively large number of eggs in the mix means that it can go from still being a little bit liquid in the centre to being well cooked in just a few minutes.
- Set aside for 30 minutes before inverting out of the tin, removing the baking parchment and placing the cake the right way up on a serving plate. It can either be served warm with cream or set aside until cool.