My early wednesday mornings are now spent surrounded by babies at the lovely village mother and baby group. Yes it's great for the Cub to hang out with other small people and yes I might make some new friends. But the real reason I rush like a loonie to get out out the door for 9am every week, is for the cake. Big, fat, homemade, chocolate and cream-filled cakes made by the wonderful Laura.
There are toys for the cherubs and cakes for the grown ups. What could be better?
My joy when I walked in on day one to be greeted by plates of proper cupcakes and a sticky chocolate sensation was only to be rivalled by this week, when there was a choice of three. My highlight was the Damp Lemon and Almond cake from the lovely Nigella's 'Domestic Goddess book'. Maybe not the most nutritionally balanced start to the day but it kept me very chirpy and energetic until lunch time. Who needs Weetabix?

225 grams of soft unsalted butter
225 grams of castor sugar
4 large eggs
50 grams of plain flour
225 grams of ground almonds
half a teaspoon of almond essence
zesst and juice of 2 lemons

Butter and line a 21 cm springform cake tin.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugar until it's almost white. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition. When all the eggs and flour have been added, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond essence, lemon zest and juice.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. Cover with foil after about 30 minutes, once the top is lightly browned. The cake is ready when the top is firm, and a skewer, inserted, comes out cleanish - you want dampness, but not gooey batter. Take the cake out and let it stand for 5 minutes or so in the tin. Then turn it out on a wire rack and leave until it's cool.



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