Making an Ottolenghi recipe assures me of one thing- whatever the final result will be, it will be breathtakingly delicious. I have made over two dozen recipes from his cookbooks and they do not disappoint. Many have made it into my repertoire, others have taught me how to think out-of-the-box when brainstorming for flavour pairings. This particular recipe comes from Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s as yet unreleased dessert cookbook. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit and toned down the lemony taste to make it more palatable for my Lemon and Lime Pie-hating family. You can choose to do away with the syrup altogether and top these mini cakes with a simple Labneh frosting.
For The Cakes:
Almond meal 1 1/2 cup
Semolina 1/2 cup, fine variety
Baking Powder 3/4 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Butter 170g,unsalted, room temperature
Caster sugar 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp
Lemon Zest 3/4 tsp
Eggs 3, beaten to blend
Lemon juice 2 tbsp
For The Syrup:
Lemon Zest 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice 3 tbsp
Sugar 1/3 cup
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 12-muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together the almond meal, semolina, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Using a hand mixer on high speed, cream the butter, lemon zest and sugar until it is very light. Do this step well, because it will determine the rise of the cakes. Gradually add the eggs one at a time and whisk till the mixture is glossy. Add in the dry ingredients a little at a time together with the lemon juice and beat till everything is well incorporated.
- Divide this mix among the muffin moulds and bake until the cakes are golden brown on top and a tester comes out clean. This took about 30 minutes for me but on fan-mode, it would take lesser time.
- While the cakes are cooking, over low heat combine the lemon zest, juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 3 minutes and take it off the heat. When the cakes come out of the oven, immediately brush this syrup over your cakes generously and then let it cool completely in the muffin pan before turning it out.