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Lemon and Amaretto Loaf Cakes

Moist and oh-so moreish, it’s a good thing the recipe makes up 3 small cakes: one to eat straight-away, one to give (a perfect hostess gift!), and one for the freezer — if you can manage to delay gratification for that long! There is an almost floral quality to the wonderful way in which the lemon and amaretto complement each other, revealing a culinary match that is more than the sum of its parts. Originally a gluten-free recipe, we find this bakes up well with wheat flour, but give you both options in the list of ingredients — your choice!

Lemon and Amaretto Loaf Cakes

4 oz. butter, softened
4½ oz. caster (superfine white) sugar (½ cup plus 2 tbs.)
2 large eggs
2 oz. self-rising flour (scant ½ cup) [or 2 oz. GF flour plus ½ tsp. baking pow. and ⅛ tsp. xanthum gum]
2 oz. ground almonds (½ cup plus 1 tbs.)
3 fl. oz. plain yogurt
zest 2 lemons

For the drizzle

4 tbs. amaretto
1 tbs. caster sugar
juice 2 lemons

For the icing

2¾ oz. confectioner’s sugar (¾ cup)
juice 1 lemon
sliced almonds

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line 3 mini loaf pans. Put the softened butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat again. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, yogurt, and grated lemon zest using a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch and golden brown.

To make the drizzle, put the amaretto, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the warm cakes and leave to cool in the pans.

To make the icing, mix the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice together, adding a little extra water if the icing is too stiff. Remove the cakes from the pans, spoon a little icing over the top of each and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

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