Italian is such a beautiful language! Most Italian phrases sound poetic, warm, and enticing… For example, this title translates as “lemon and almond cake,”  but by sticking with the original Italian, I can pretend that it’s not really a cake, and therefore, it is doable. 😉    This recipe came from Fer’s blog (Chucrute com Salsicha), where I find a lot of inspiration, and she convinced me to ignore my cake-phobia and give it a try.

Done!  I can’t say it was painless, but it wasn’t as horrible as some of my past cake experiences.

(recipe adapted by Fer, original found in Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook)

125 g softened butter
125 g granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
125 g almond flour
60 g all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
juice and zest of 2 lemons
powdered sugar (optional)

Heat the oven to 355F / 180 C.
Prepare a springform pan (8 inches diameter) by coating it with butter and dusting with flour.   Take a deep breath and beat the butter with the sugar until it forms a cream.  Hope that the stars are correctly aligned so that the elusive cream stage appears in recognizable form. Take another deep breath and add the egg yolks, one by one, beating after each addition.   Calm yourself, collect yourself, and move away from the Kitchen Aid mixer. In a large bowl, combine the flours with the baking powder,  mix them well together, and add  the dry ingredients  to the egg mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix to incorporate. Stop hyperventilating. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form,  and  fold them into the cake batter, trying to avoid deflating the egg whites too much.  Cross your fingers for sustained alignment of the stars.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and hope it will be enough to cover its whole surface, as cake batters tend to dissipate into thin air and never ever fill the pan called for in the recipe (which is very annoying!). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (mine baked for 43 minutes and 19 seconds), until the cake is lightly golden.   Allow it to cool  before opening the springform pan.  If desired, dust with powdered sugar.


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Comments: This was a lovely cake, I’m so glad that I made it! If you have Meyer lemons, use them, as Fer recommended.  The almond flour brings an interesting texture: a little more dense, but it quickly melts in your mouth, with a bright lemony finish. It sure brightened up our lab meeting last Friday… 😉

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