For the cake:
- 6 eggs, separated
- 200g sugar
- 2 lemons, grated zest
- 300g ground almonds
For the lemon syrup:
- 75g sugar
- 110ml water
- 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
- 2-3 pieces star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cardamom pods
- Preheat oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm deep round cake tin.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and lemon zest to a pale light cream. Add the ground almonds and mix well. At this stage, the mixture will be very stiff but don’t worry about that.
- Stiffly beat the egg whites until they are meringue-like, then beat half of the egg white mixture into the almond mix with a wooden spoon to loosen it up. Gently fold the remaining egg white into the almond mixture with a metal spoon.
- Pour into the tin and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until set. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup. Put everything into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour some of the syrup over the top. The delicious syrup will soak into the cake as you pour it, making it beautifully moist, so continue to baste or soak the cake regularly until it is all used up.
- Decorate the cake with the lemon slices and spices which were cooked in the syrup.
- Add the syrup incrementally – the cake will absorb all of the syrup but if you do it over a period of time you will end up with a ‘very moist’ rather than ‘very soggy’ cake.