I always love any kind of lemon cake, especially moist ones. A few weeks ago I tried a very moist lemon and rosemary loaf cake at our local cafe Watch House, which was so delicious. I was curious what the ingredients were as it was really hard to detect what it was made from. I boldly asked the staff member where the recipe was from, she went to the trouble of finding the recipe online for me. The original recipe included bread crumbs and rosemary. The other day I was in 'Tuesday test kitchen mode' and I was keen to experiment to make my version of this cake. I only had basil in my kitchen, I thought I would try swapping out the rosemary for basil. The flavour and taste was still amazing. However, my first attempt the cake sunk in the middle after baking I only used 200g of almond meal. I have now adjusted the recipe slightly. I am sure you will enjoy this delicious moist cake too.

Ingredients

  • 250g ground almonds
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 lemons (zest)

Syrup

  • 3 large sprigs of basil
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 50ml water
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Decorate (optional)

  • 2-3 sprigs basil
  • 1 egg white
  • Castor Sugar - dusting
  • Icing Sugar - dusting

Method

  1. Preheat oven 170˚C (fan).
  2. Line the loaf tin with baking paper or use a 20cm spring-form pan.
  3. Mix the eggs and oil together.
  4. Add all dry ingredients plus the lemon zest and mix with a wooden spoon (do not over mix).
  5. Pour into your prepare tin and bake for 40-5o minutes.
  6. Once cook, cool for 10 minutes then turn onto a plate.
  7. Make the syrup while the cake is cooling.
  8. Put the basil and sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved - break a few pieces of basil in two to release the flavour.
  9. Add the lemon juice and stir gently.
  10. Make holes in the cake, with a skewer while the cake is still warm. Remove the basil from the syrup then pour over the cake. Leave to cool, the cake will soak up the syrup.
  11. To decorate the cake if you wish, whisk the egg white until frothy. Then paint the basil with a basking brush.
  12. Sift the castor sugar over the basil, gently shake off any excess. Leave to set on baking paper somewhere warm for approx. 2 hours.
  13. Just before serving dust with icing sugar and add the decorative basil.