food: almond cake with oranges and lemons

Here’s a recipe borrowed from Linda Reid (again), the fount of a lot of good food. I think it may be Lebanese in origin …

For the cake:

50g slightly stale white breadcrumbs
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
1.5 tsp baking powder
200ml vegetable oil
4 eggs
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

For the syrup:

juice of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
75g caster sugar
3 cloves
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick


line a 20cm cake tin
mix all the dry ingreients
mix all the wet ingredients
mix the wet and dry ingredients
turn into the cake tin
place into the middle of a cold oven
turn the heat to 180C
bake for 45-50 minutes, a skewer should come out clean.

For the syrup, mix all the ingredients and simmer gently for 3 minutes.

When the cake is cooked, turn out onto a plate and allow cool for a while. Stick a few more holes into it and pour over the syrup, so it soaks in.

Serve with yoghurt (I prefer cream / ice cream).

I didn’t have access to unwaxed oranges and lemons, so I just scrubbed them hard under the hot tap. Neither did I use the star anise. But it was delicious anyway. Even better on the second day.

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