LEMON BASIL ALMOND DRIZZLE CAKE
I love cakes that are flavoured with herbs, such as rosemary and fennel. The light aniseed flavour of basil gives a new dimension to a lemon cake. My other half loves lemon tarts and cakes, but I usually find them too sharp, so I’ve created this — an olive oil, almond sponge, made lighter with tapioca and given a herby aroma with the fresh basil. For any cake connoisseurs who want to make this even lighter, feel free to whip up the whites and all that jazz. I usually put the ingredients straight into the food processor and whizz away before stirring in the basil by hand. Bake as mini cakes or cupcakes, if you like — they’ll need less time in the oven. This is also delicious with limes, which are more cooling and less harsh than lemons.
- 75ml (⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 280g (2½ cups) ground almonds
- 95g (¾ cup) tapioca
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 20g (½ cup) fresh basil, torn, plus extra to decorate (optional)
- 150g (¾ cup) jaggery or maple syrup
- 60ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium eggs
- finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
FOR THE GLAZE
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 85g (¼ cup) raw honey
- pinch of sea salt
- zest of 1 large lemon (plus extra to decorate, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC/gas mark 4), and grease a 23cm (9in) round springform tin with olive oil.
- Mix together the ground almonds, tapioca, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth with a wet spatula and bake for 30 minutes or more, until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out almost clean.
- Allow to cool completely in the tin. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the ingredients together in a glass jug. Pour the glaze over the cake. Allow to stand for another 30 minutes.
- Carefully run a thin knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then transfer onto a plate to serve
I managed to get enough juice and zest for this recipe from 2 large lemons, but I’d recommend having a third lemon on hand just in case, especially if you are decorating with extra zest.