Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sugar High Friday - Citrus - Marzipan and Lemon Cake; Marmalade Cake

The amazing Helene of Tartlette is hosting Sugar High Friday (founded by Jen, The Domestic Goddess) this month, and she has chosen a citrus theme. Hooray!!! I am a citrus lover, and I particularly love those astringent beauties, lemons and limes. You have until 25 May to participate, and all that you have to do is make a dessert featuring citrus. Helene herself has posted several citrus desserts since announcing this month's theme, demonstrating that with flavours this good, the hard part is knowing exactly what to choose.

After much deliberation, I decided to make a most wonderful looking marzipan and lemon cake from May's Delicious magazine, with the recipe by Aussie cook Belinda Jeffery. You cannot really taste the marzipan in the finished cake, so all haters of marzipan icing can breathe a sigh of relief. The cake is surprisingly delicate, sweet and light given the amount of butter in it, and it is very difficult to stop at just one slice. The flaked almonds on top give the cake a wonderful crunchy texture which complements the lemony cake beneath. Best of all, this cake is quick and easy peasy to make, because Belinda's directions use a food processor.

If you like the look of this cake and want to make it, you will need:

190g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
220g sugar
200g marzipan, cubed
5 eggs
280g softened butter, cubed
Grated zest from 3 lemons
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
50g flaked almonds

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line and butter a 23cm springform pan, and dust the inside of the pan with a light coating of plain flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor, pulse briefly until combined, then place into a bowl and reserve.

Put the sugar and marzipan in the food processor and pulse until they form crumbs. Next, pulse the eggs through the mixture in the food processor, one at a time, and once all the eggs are in, pulse for a minute to combine well. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is thick and the butter is well combined. Add the zest and essences to the batter and pulse briefly. Finally, add the dry ingredients reserved earlier, and pulse until just combined.

Pour the battter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the top of the cake with the flaked almonds. Bake the cake for about an hour until done when tested with a skewer. Remove the baked cake from the oven, cool it in the tin for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake almond side down onto a flat plate, then use the plate to put the cake right side up onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Belinda suggests dusting the cake with icing sugar and serving with cream, but I served it as is, and it was delicious! Thanks to Helene for hosting SHF this month. If you want to be transported to citrus heaven, check out the other 129 entries in this month's SHF here and here.

I made another citrus cake, this time a marmalade cake by Nigel Slater that I saw on Margaret's Kitchen Delights. Margaret's cake turned out way better than mine. Sure, mine tasted OK, but what you can't see in this glamour photo of my cake is that it sunk terribly in the middle. The recipe warns that it will sink slightly, but mine developed the most enormous dimple right down the middle - perhaps it was laughing at me! The cake tastes fine, but it is definitely not one that I could serve to company because of its imperfection. Maybe I'll try it again to see if I can keep the tart yet sweet marmalade flavour while eliminating the dimple.


Gretchen Noelle said...

This looks scrumptious!!!

Elly said...

These look great. I am totally drooling over the marzipan cake! And if I were your company, I would happily eat the marmalade cake, too!

Mary said...

I personally can't imagine right now anything better than citrus and marzipan. How delightfull!

Peter M said...

Marzipan cake? Who can resist!

Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Wow !! this cake look perfect honey!
Really fantastic recipe..thanks a lot for sharing :-D
I adore cakes with lemon taste so perfect perfect :-P
A big kiss

Maggie said...

Hi - Nigel Slater says the cake will sink - mine didn't though for reasons known only to the marmalade cake itself!!
I know from experience that if you have too generous a hand with the marmalade, then any cake will sink.
Perhaps I was a scrooge with the jar of marmalade!!!
Thanks for the mention, I hope the cake still tasted ok.

adele said...

Marzipan and lemon? Sounds like a winning combination to me. :)

I need to get a move on if I'm going to get a lemon trifle recipe together...

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

These both look fantastic and I would love to eat them. Marzipan, almonds, lemons are all some of my favorites.

Ivy said...

Wow, I am drooling over this fantastic cake and I DO love citrus of any kind. This is bookmarked for sometime in the future as I am trying to loose some weight at the moment.

BTW Ben and I are hosting a Food Event on "eating healthy stuff" so would be glad to see you participating as well as your readers.

Pixie said...

Hi Cakelaw,
As always wonderful cake, I'm hoping to try the ricotta cake recipe at some point. Wondering why you couldn't comment under the video-unsure, why it didn't show up for you, do find that strange but nevertheless, thanks for stopping over and letting me know.


Andhra Flavors said...

Delightful! I love Marmalade Cake:)

Rosie said...

WOW oh WOW cakelaw I just love the combo of lemon and marzipan one very scrummy cake and the other citrus cake looks just as good too :)

Rosie x

Unknown said...

What a wonderful entry! There are very few thigs better ta citrus and marzipan in cakes!