I’m well aware that a lot of people have a problem with this word, but there’s no getting around this: this loaf is moist.
The building blocks of many of my day dreams is to come up with a desired flavour combination and then challenge myself to offset it with a contrasting texture to keep things exciting. What’s happening here is pretty obvious: fresh lemon zest highlights the white chocolate swirled through, with the dense texture of the loaf yielded with the ground almonds and further enhanced by the crushed roasted almonds within the cake itself and also on top of the lemon drizzle. For something so simple, it stands up as an elegant afternoon tea (or in this cake, pre-midnight snack) in its own right.
Makes 1 loaf:
- 175g butter, softened and left to reach room temperature
- 130g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, free range and room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 125g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 70g roasted almonds, crushed or chopped roughly
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 100g icing sugar
- Meringues, crushed to decorate
- 100g white chocolate melts, melted
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C bake setting. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar with a hand or free-standing beater on high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, along with the vanilla essence at the final addition. Mix through the dry ingredients – self-raising flour, ground almonds, half the crushed almonds and lemon zest followed by folding through the sour cream.
- Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin. Melt the white chocolate in blitzes in the microwave. Drop small blobs on top of the cake batter and swirl it through with a bamboo skewer.
- Bake the loaf for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Remove to cool, prick all over with a skewer. Prepare the lemon drizzle by mixing the lemon juice and icing sugar. Drizzle (as you would) on top of the cake, followed by sprinkling the crushed meringues and almonds on top along with a sprinkling of coarsely ground sea salt.
- Serve still warm or as fresh as possible!