Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lemon, Almond and Rosemary Cake

Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons is my go-to cookbook for lush, inspiring photographs and recipes. Whenever we have a lightning storm, I get out this cookbook ... because once I was reading it when a lightning storm with drenching rain struck, and somehow a full-circle connection was created between nature's majesty, me, and this book. It leans definitely to the Middle-Eastern, and ever since that last big storm we had a while back, I've been thinking about trying this cake. I used homemade sourdough bread that already had rosemary in it, organic lemons, organic sugar, and my luscious local eggs.

The author suggests serving it with berries, but my little patch of strawberries is just beginning to produce, so we augmented them with mango when it came time to partake. This cake has a wonderfully grainy texture, a sweet lemony tang, and an exotic, Middle-Eastern syrupy aspect, all infused with the woodsy essence of rosemary.

I know it's not health food, but it's soul food.
Adapted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry

For the cake:

2 ounces stale white bread (3/4 cup crumbs)
3-1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) blanched almonds (non-blanched work fine, too)
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
3/4 cup sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
4 local, free-range eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

For the syrup:

Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 sprigs rosemary

Butter bottom and sides of an 8-1/2 inch springform pan. I think you could also use an 8-inch square Pyrex pan, or similar cake pan, if you butter it generously, flour it as well, and run a knife around the edge of the pan when releasing the baked cake.

In food processor, grind bread, almonds and rosemary as finely as possible. Add sugar, lemon zest, olive oil and eggs, and pulse as briefly as possible, just to blend. Add baking powder and pulse very briefly, just until until baking powder is incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan, put into a cold oven and turn oven on to 350 degrees. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake is brown and a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean. Cool cake for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate.

While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Turn heat up and boil syrup for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Leave rosemary in to infuse.

Pierce holes in the warm cake, and pour the syrup evenly over. Serve with berries, other fruit, yogurt, ice cream, or any other accompaniments that strike your fancy.

Makes 8 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment