LIMONCELLO POUND CAKE
• 100 g / 3/4 cup ground almonds
• 100 g / 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or ginger)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 125 g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 150 g / 3/4 cup sugar
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 60 ml / 1/4 cup olive oil
• 3 eggs
• 60 ml / 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, or heavy cream
Cats hate lemons, but Púcas love it. They also love alcohol, and tempting humans into drinking into folly. My weakness is sweets. This version of a pound cake combines butter with olive oil for a Mediterranean touch. After baking, it is bathed in a lemon syrup with Limoncello. I do not recommend it for a children’s treat. But a Púca would. Púcas can be good spirits, but they are mischievous as well.
The Cannes market is overflowing with delicious fresh strawberries. They make the perfect accompaniment for this vibrant, moist cake.
• 100 g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 175 ml / 3/4 cup water
• Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
• 4 tablespoons Limoncello
Butter a 22 cm / 8 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line it with baking paper, then butter and flour it. Heat the oven to 160 C / 325 F.
Whisk together the almond powder, flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Beat the softened butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Pour in the olive oil and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon juice, then the eggs, one by one, beating well and scraping the bowl once or twice. Stir in the yogurt, blend it well, then transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the centre of the oven until a wooden pick stuck into the centre comes out just clean, about 55-65 minutes. Cool on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully remove the cake (still in its papers) to cool completely.
Boil the sugar, water, lemon zest and juice for five minutes. Pour in the Limoncello. Return the cake, in its papers, to the loaf pan. Prick the entire surface evenly with a wooden pick, penetrating to the bottom. Spoon the hot Limoncello syrup slowly over the cake. Let it sit two hours before serving so the syrup is imbibed completely and evenly.
Eat the cake chilled, with fresh strawberries.