Olive Oil and Lemon Syrup Cake

Candied Almonds

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup caster cugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Cake

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp limoncello
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • whipped cream to serve

Lemon Honey Syrup

  • 4 tbsp liquid honey, or maple syrup if preferred
  • 4 tbsp limoncello
  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste (or scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla pod)
  • zest of 1/2 a lime, finely grated

Olive Oil and Lemon Syrup Cake

For the candied almonds, preheat the oven to 160°C, spread the almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven until golden and crisp (3–5 minutes). Place the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan, bring to the boil and continue boiling, without stirring but swirling the pan so it cooks evenly, until mixture turns a light amber colour. Take the saucepan off the heat, stir in the toasted almonds until the mixture has crystallised, then pour onto a clean tray to cool. Once cooled, place in an airtight container and keep until required. For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place sugar, oil and lemon zest in a food processor and blend thoroughly, then add the eggs, one at a time, blending well between each addition. Add limoncello, ground almonds, flour and baking powder and blend until just combined. To make the lemon honey syrup, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the honey or maple syrup has melted into the other ingredients. Do not boil the mixture. Set aside. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Pour in the batter. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and firm in the centre. Remove the cake to a plate while still warm, pierce some holes in the cake with a skewer, then pour the combined warm syrup ingredients over the top and scatter the candied almonds over. Serve in wedges with whipped cream.