During the long Easter weekend, my friend Lisa made almond cake, using a Nigella Lawson recipe featuring marzipan as a key ingredient. How fabulous does that sound? She cunningly poured the batter into a muffin mould to make individual cakes instead of one large cake.
I loved both the sound of the recipe and Lisa’s idea for miniature cakes, so on Easter Sunday, Pete and I followed suit.
We decided to halve the amounts. I also took note of Lisa’s feedback that the Nigella recipe produces a really wet and sloppy batter and we reduced the eggs by a third. The adjusted batter was perfect.
The resulting cakes were utterly delicious, with a beautiful even texture. They were also very easy to make, since all the ingredients are simply combined using a food processor. They stored well in an airtight box for a few days so they would be a great choice when you need a quick make-ahead recipe for sweet treats.
Individual Marzipan Cakes
Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe
Makes 4-6 depending on your moulds
125 grams unsalted butter
125 grams marzipan (almond paste)
75 grams caster sugar
2-3 drops teaspoon almond extract
2-3 drops of vanilla extract
2 large eggs
75 grams self-raising flour
- Preheat oven to 160°C (fan).
- Liberally butter and flour the muffin mould and set to one side.
- Cube the butter and marzipan, and either leave out of fridge for an hour or use the microwave to soften a little.
- Place butter, marzipan and caster sugar into a food processor (with the blade attachment) and process until smooth.
- Add the almond extract and vanilla bean paste and blitz again, briefly.
- Add the eggs and process until properly combined.
- Add the flour and process again until you have a smooth cake batter.
- Pour batter into muffin mould. We have a bendy rubber spatula that is perfect for making sure no batter is wasted.
- Bake for half an hour, but start checking after 25 minutes. When the cake looks golden and cooked, check using a fine skewer. If it comes out cleanish, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before turning out and cooling further on a wire rack.
The cakes are tasty served straight away, but develop an added moistness after a day and store well for up to a week.
Nigella suggests serving with raspberries, pureed or stewed apples or creme fraiche and toasted flaked almonds but we thought they were wonderful just as they were.