From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering
To make 2 layers - easily halved for just one cake layer
- 1 stick (4 oz. or 112 g) very soft butter or butter substitute
- 1 cup (7 1/2 oz. or 215 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¾ cups (6 oz. or 165 g) almond meal/almond flour/ground almonds
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
- 4 tsp. (20 ml) almond extract
- Grated zest/rind of one lemon
- ¼ - ½ cup (1-2 oz. or 25-50 g) sliced/flaked almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place all of cake ingredients (but not sliced almonds) in mixing bowl and beat until well blended – 1 minute.
3. Grease and line two 9” (22 cm) cake pans. You can also use two 8x8 (20x20 cm) dishes, or buy the foil dishes this size. Divide cake batter between 2 pans and sprinkle almonds on top of one cake layer.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes until well risen, light golden brown and set but still soft in the middle.
5. Remove from oven, leave to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out of pans and leave to cool completely on cooling rack. Cake made with almond meal will be a brownish color. Cake made with almond flour/ground almonds will be a creamy white color.
- 2 cups (16 oz. or 454 g) container of ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled. Cut most of them into smaller pieces and keep a few big strawberries for garnish. Or use raspberries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, whatever fresh, ripe fruit you want.
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz. or 236 ml) liquid heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (8 oz. or 236 ml) lemon curd. You could also just whisk 2 tbsp. of any liqueur you like into each cup of cream with 2 tbsp. sugar.
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) gelatin (less than half of regular small paper packet). Gelatin added to cream mix keeps cream from melting in heat. You don’t need to include this if the cake is kept in the fridge or a cool house.
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) water
1. Put cake layer without almonds on serving plate. Spread with the small pieces of strawberries and any of the juice they formed.
2. Sprinkle the 1 tsp. of gelatin on top of 1 tbsp. cold water in a small cup. Swirl to wet gelatin. Mix should thicken in a few minutes to a rubbery lump. Place cup in microwave and heat for about 10 seconds or until gelatin totally dissolves and forms light brown colored liquid. It is essential that gelatin is totally dissolved, otherwise it sets into chewy lumps. Add second tablespoon of water to cool gelatin.
3. Whisk cream with sugar until stiff, then add lemon curd and gelatin mix. Stir to blend.
4. Spread about half of lemon cream mix on top of strawberries or chosen fruit.
5. Place sliced almond topped cake layer on top.
6. Spread cream on top of cake. Use all of the cream or keep back some cream to pipe around the edge of the cake. Put slices of large strawberries around edges of cake, keep one large strawberry as center garnish. I added chocolate shards.
Tips & Alternatives
There are many options to customize this recipe:
- Add grated rind of orange to cake batter, add orange liqueur to cream and pair with fruit of choice without curd. Spread layer of jam that matches fruit. Or fill with just jam and cream.
- Use vanilla custard as filling with or without fruit. Top with cream or chocolate ganache to taste almost like a gluten-free Boston Cream Pie.
- Fill and top with whipped chocolate ganache with liqueur.
- Serve plain slices of cake with ice cream and chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, caramel sauce - your choice.
- Sprinkle with toffee bits or caramelized nuts (make sure they’re gluten-free).
A pinch of xanthan gum can help stabilize plain whipped cream.