My variation on the traditional Lemon Drizzle Cake has a distinct Italian flavour using lemons, oranges, almonds and limoncello. It reminds me of driving up to Mount Etna in Sicily, the roads lined with orange and lemon trees, eating almond sweets from one of the little shops in Taormina and sipping limoncello in a harbour café in Palermo.
Preheat your oven to 180C, fan oven to 160C or gas oven to 4.
Beat 225g unsalted butter, 225g caster sugar and 10g vanilla sugar with a hand-mixer until the mixture is really creamy. Add 4-5 eggs (depending on size), one after the other whilst you continue mixing. Sift in 225g flour and a pinch of baking powder and add 100g ground almonds, the zest of one lemon & one orange and a good slug of limoncello to the mix.
Grease a baking tin and pour in the mixture. Flatten with a spoon.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Prepare a syrup made from the juice of 1 ½ lemons, 85g sugar, orange zest to taste and another good measure of limoncello.
When the cake is ready (check with a wooden toothpick), take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for a minute before you take it out of the tin. Leave for a few more minutes, it should still be warm but not too hot when you drizzle it.
The cake doesn’t have too much alcohol in it, but you can always substitute the limoncello with more lemon or orange juice.
(props are gifts from our Sicilian friend Gio. Grazie!)