A very decadent take on the humble lemon drizzle cake, this is great for special occasions. You know, like Tuesday.
• 120g macadamia nuts
• butter, to grease
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 2 lemons
• 50g self-raising flour
• 100g caster sugar
• drop vanilla extract
• 160g icing sugar
1 Heat the oven to 180°C. Spread the macadamia nuts out on a baking sheet and bake for 8–10 minutes until lightly golden. Tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
2 Meanwhile, lightly grease the loaf tin, then line the base and short sides with a strip of baking parchment that extends over the sides.
3 Separate the eggs into 2 medium bowls. Finely grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice. Set aside.
4 Transfer 100g of the cooled nuts to the small bowl of a food processor and add the flour and 2 tbsp of the sugar.
5 Process briefly until the nuts are broken down to the consistency of nibbed almonds, taking care not to over-grind them or they will release oil that will interfere with the meringue. Roughly chop the remaining nuts and reserve for decoration.
6 Set aside another 2 tbsp of the sugar, then add the remaining sugar, lemon zest and vanilla to the yolks and beat, using an electric whisk, until the mixture increases in volume and becomes pale and mousse-like. Set aside.
7 Using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add the reserved sugar and continue to whisk for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture returns to stiff peaks.
8 Carefully fold the ground nuts and flour into the yolk mixture. Now stir in a spoonful of the whisked whites to loosen the mixture.
9 Add the remaining whites and, using a spatula or large metal spoon, carefully fold the mixtures together until evenly combined. Do not over-fold or the mixture will lose volume.
10 Working quickly, gently pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, holding the bowl as close to the tin as possible to ensure minimal air loss.
11 Cook in the middle of the oven for 30–40 minutes until well risen and lightly golden.
12 Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake; it should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, but no raw mixture.
13 Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the lining paper once cooled.
14 Meanwhile, to make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, stirring well until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick, beat in a few drops of water to achieve a slightly runnier consistency.
15 When the cake is cool, carefully drizzle the lemon icing over the top, allowing it to run down the sides a little.
16 Sprinkle the reserved chopped nuts onto the icing and leave the cake to stand for 15 minutes to allow the icing to set. Cut into slices to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Leiths School of Food and Wine