As I spend most of my time at home, I have decided to make the most of it by cooking new things from the many great cookbooks I have. One of the best cakes I’ve baked during the past four weeks of lockdown is this Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake from Ottolenghi’s Simple.
Simple is one of my favourite of all cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi as it matches my style of cooking and baking perfectly. The book features brilliant, flavoursome dishes that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes and with less 10 ingredients. Just like this Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake or these Chocolate, Sesame and Hazelnut Rolls.
As I picked up this cookbook again a few weeks ago, I immediately flicked the pages to the “pudding” chapter, looking for a sweet treat to bake at the weekend. The Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake looked yummy, fresh and the perfect recipe to use the blueberries I had spotted at my local supermarket.
In the words of Ottolenghi, “there’s nothing quite like a simple loaf cake to reassure one that all is okay with the world”. While this cake hasn’t changed the fact I am in lockdown at home in Poland for the foreseeable future, it has certainly brightened up my days!
What I love about this Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake is the texture: so soft and fluffy! The juices of a zingy lemon and plump blueberries bleed into the sweet sugar icing and sponge, packing the cake with flavours.
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more for greasing)
- 190g caster sugar
- zest of 2 small lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 90g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 110g ground almonds
- 200g blueberries
- 70g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin (21 x 11 cm) with a little butter and line with baking paper.
In the bowl of a food mixer with paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on a high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light, then lower the speed to medium. Add the eggs in small additions, one by one, keep mixing. Add the flour, salt and almonds in consecutive additions. Finally, fold in 150g of blueberries, gently mixing by hand with a spatula. Put the remaining 50g of blueberries aside for later. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, then cover the cake loosely with tin foil. Continue to bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen and cooked (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, mix the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice with the icing sugar. Whisk until smooth. Pour all over the cake letting it drop down over the sides.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.