Lemon Almond Cake
Lemon Almond Cake
It will be Easter in a couple of days. To me, Easter is my favorite holiday. It means that spring is just around the corner, as the days get longer with so many signs of new beginnings. And it means that the days of darkness are in the past.
It is also the time when I usually travel to Germany. I always looked forward to seeing my German family and celebrate Easter with them. My little village has traditions that get repeated every year. One of my favorite ones is the bonfire on the night of Easter Sunday. It is an old pagan ritual meant to chase away winter and its evil spirits and welcome spring. Today, it is mainly a social gathering to drink beer and eat sausages and apples. The belief is that the apples ensure good health for the coming year, but what about the sausage and the beer?
There is also a tradition of having a big Easter dinner on Sunday or Monday. Easter lamb, chicken or eggs are typical meals. My family always has a brunch after the kids finished their Easter egg hunt. Many houses and town squares are decorated nicely with bunnies and eggs. This year I’m not going to Germany. I will stay at home here in Santa Cruz and go to an annual Easter party on the mountain with my girlfriend and her family. We will also celebrate an upcoming marriage and a birthday. There will always be new beginnings.
This cake has a distinct lemony taste because whole lemons are being used. The almonds add crunch and one can taste a hint of candied ginger, a delight for the senses.
Years ago, a genius cook made up this recipe using whole lemons and Sunset magazine printed it. It is a nutty, chewy, not-too-sweet cake with the flavor of whole lemons including the rind. If you want sweet lemon bars, you picked the wrong recipe. This cake is not sweet and does not taste like a regular lemon desert. Since this recipe uses the whole lemon, you get a very lemony somewhat bitter flavor. To mellow out the flavor, the lemons are cooked and then used in the recipe. I have made this cake many times and most of my family and friends like it, but not everybody likes the distinct bitter lemon flavor. So you wonder, “Why is she posting it?” The answer is because I love the flavor and texture of this cake, so it has a worthy place in my cooking repertoire.
The cake lasts for several days and tastes even better the next day. The almonds add a crunchy, chewy quality to the cake that I love. How will you know if you like it or not? If you like orange or lemon marmalade, you will probably like this desert.
If you want another choice for a lemon dessert, try my lemon bread. It is a more traditional recipe since it uses only the juice of the lemon. I would be very interested what you think about my choices. By the way, my niece, who was visiting me from Germany requested lemon bars, the sweeter the better. I made most of her favorite food while she was here, like butternut squash lasagne with hazelnuts, which I will post soon.
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Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.