passover week 2024 - passover amalfi lemon cake

This is a recipe I've made a few times before, which I've only lightly renovated for Passover. An Amalfi lemon cake is made using a whole lemon, olive oil, eggs, sugar, almond meal with a small quantity of either flour or polenta to bind it together. I swapped my Passover baking mix (equal quantities of superfine matzo meal and potato starch) for the flour and skipped the small quantity of baking powder.

As it's an oil based cake, if you'd like to keep it pareve, skip the whipped cream topping, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar and serve it with the syrup and perhaps a citrus fruit salad. The lemon syrup is key here and in the future, I'd double the quantity. Also, if you can, make the cake the day before you serve it as I think it gives the cake a bit of time to mature and develop its flavour.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake. If you'd like to make a larger version refer to the linked recipe. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Passover Amalfi Lemon Cake - adapted from Delicious magazine 
1 small lemon (preferably seedless)
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil 
125g almond meal
passover baking mix (superfine matzo meal mixed with potato starch)
Pinch salt  
2 eggs
125g caster sugar
Lemon syrup
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon 

Candied Lemon Slices - optional
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
⅓ cup caster sugar
⅓ cup water
To decorate
candied lemon slices, optional
250mls cream, whisked to stiff peaks 

Place lemon in a deep saucepan, cover with cold water and place a small plate on top to keep lemon submerged. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes or until lemon is just soft, topping up water if needed, or microwave the lemon with 1 tbs water in a covered bowl for 3-4 minutes, then drain and cool completely. Cut into quarters and remove seeds. Place in a blender with oil and whiz until smooth and emulsified. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 170°C, conventional. Grease and flour a 17 cm-round cake pan with superfine matzo meal and line the base with baking paper. Mix together the almond meal, passover baking mix and salt. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine, then whisk in lemon puree and the almond meal.

Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top is just firm and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Lemon syrup
Combine sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-6 minutes until thickened and starting to caramelise. Cool syrup, then mix in remaining juice of 1/2 lemon until combined. Cool completely to room temperature. 

Candied lemon Slices
To make the candied lemon slices, put the water and sugar into a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to turn golden brown. Slide in the lemon slices and cook for a few more minutes before turning over. Cook until well coated with the toffee. Carefully remove the lemon slices from the toffee and place on the baking paper to cool. Arrange a few of the slices over the top of the cream to serve. Any leftover lemon slices can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge between pieces of baking paper.

To serve 
Top the cake with cream, drizzle with syrup and decorate with a few candied lemon slices.

This went down very well with my taste testers, aka workmates, who had no idea the cake had been renovated for Passover. I've made this cake twice before but I don't remember having a slice so I can't compare the 2 versions. Both times I made the larger version with double the lemon syrup. The lemon syrup is key here and in the future if I make a smaller cake, I'd double the quantity of syrup as it makes the cake, literally.

See you all again tomorrow with another bake for Passover Week 2024.

Bye for now,


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